U.S. FDA says 95 percent of flavor comments fake

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U.S. FDA says 95 percent of flavor comments fake

August 28, 2018

The ‘extraordinary and unprecedented’ flood of fake comments into the network hosting the public consultation process for the US Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulation of flavors in tobacco products is much higher than previously was known, according to a story by Brent Stafford at regulatorwatch.com.

With the comment period now closed, staff at Regulations.gov were said to have confirmed to RegWatch the ‘stunning revelation’ that 95 percent of the 525,000 comments received into the system were BOT-submitted comments or were otherwise duplicate in nature.

Last month, regulatorwatch.com reported that, in a battle to destroy vaping, ‘bad actors’ had spammed more than 255,000 fake anti-vaping comments into the system overseeing the consultation process related to proposed regulations that could include restrictions on the use of flavors in e-liquids, or an outright flavor ban.

It was said that the assault nearly brought down federal servers and so bogged-down the internal network that it became next-to-impossible to process any submissions.

RegWatch described what happened as a massive assault on the credibility of the public consultation process.

Meanwhile, according to a Vaping 360 story last month relayed by the TMA, the 255,000 comments originated from four IP addresses.

At that time, the agency was said to have been able to stem the flow of comments but had not approved or published a single comment from the pending queue of hundreds of thousands of comments.

The spammed comments were unsigned and followed one of four templates, including three that used language copied from an April Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, and another from a form letter to California mayors created by the California Department of Public Health.

The comments were said to ‘critique the use of flavors and packaging to increase addictiveness and appeal’.

Category: Breaking News

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