By Benjamin Goad - 05/30/14 08:21 AM EDT
Legislation approved this week by a key House panel would direct the government to either approve or deny long-pending applications for sunscreen ingredients that are in wide use around the world but banned in the United States.
The fiscal 2015 Agriculture-rural development-FDA appropriations bill cruised to passage Thursday in the Appropriations Committee and is headed for a vote on the House floor.
Getting less attention is language attached to the bill that would require the Food and Drug Administration to complete the sunscreen reviews, some of which have been pending for more than a decade, by year’s end.
"The committee directs FDA to complete its review by December 2014 of the remaining safety and effectiveness submissions already submitted for sunscreen active ingredients,” it says.
There are currently eight applications pending for sunscreen ingredients that lawmakers and advocates say could protect public health among Americans. Skin cancer, diagnosed in 3.5 million people each year in the United States, is now the nation’s most common form of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
The Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition, representing the sunscreen ingredients companies and public health groups, lauded the language. The coalition is also pressing for passage of legislation now under consideration in both chambers of Congress.
The Sunscreen Innovation Act, sponsored by Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedArmani, Batali among guests at White House state dinner Overnight Finance: Jobless claims near record low | Cops bust IRS phone scam in India | Republican demands Iran sanctions docs Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-R.I.) and Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonIs Georgia turning blue? GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Dems seek cash to expand Senate map MORE (R-Ga.) and Reps. Ed WhitfieldEd WhitfieldOvernight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science Lobby firm hires Republican who resigned after ethics investigation Kentucky Republican to resign from House MORE (R-Ky.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.), is designed to force the FDA to pick up the pace on application decisions.
The bill would require the FDA to make a decision on new sunscreen applications within 11 months and existing applications within 8 months, but would not change other aspects of the approval process.
Either piece of legislation would improve the process, the coalition said.
“This would allow the American public to gain access to the latest safe, effective and innovative sunscreen products to protect against the sun’s most harmful rays,” the group said in a statement cheering passage of the spending bill.