Over three years have passed since the FDA held its infamous, day-long advisory committee meeting to discuss reclassifying sunbeds and sunlamps and to examine the need to add industry-killing restrictions on their use. I think I speak for everyone in the industry who attended that session when I say it was a frightening experience to witness firsthand how much power the FDA has and how
ill-prepared we were for the pending battle.
The sobering reality of this meeting and the certainty of a protracted and expensive battle with the Federal Government prompted us to establish the “ITA Special Fund.”
Over the past three years, $636,000 has been contributed to this fund by hundreds of industry leaders, and I am pleased to say we have made significant progress. While a portion of the money has been set aside for looming battles’ legal fees, most of it has been used to build our arsenal.
By hiring talented scientists to look critically at the scientific studies that our adversaries use repeatedly in making their case to policymakers, the media and the public, we have vastly improved our position. As many of us were already aware, there are significant flaws in the studies used to bash this industry, and now, we have the scientific data necessary to support our rebutles.
One thing I have learned in dealing with our government is that while some things move at a snail’s pace, it doesn’t mean the danger has passed. Even after three years, the FDA is still under extreme political pressure to clamp down on us – so, we cannot let our guard down now. We need to continue to build the fund. Please contribute to the ITA Special Fund; it is another worthwhile investment in our industry’s future.
was the President of the Indoor Tanning Association.
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