Senate panel backs Trump's pick to run FDA

Senate lawmakers are advancing the nomination of President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration

The full Senate will vote on Hahn’s nomination before he can become FDA commissioner.

In his confirmation hearing last month, Hahn repeatedly ducked questions about the fate of the flavor ban and his plans for regulating vaping. The committee’s top Democrat said Tuesday that Hahn's lack of commitment on the ban cost him her vote.

“Dr. Hahn refused to commit to implementing a strong policy to clear non-tobacco e-cigarettes,” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington. “That is a big red flag for me and why I will be voting against his nomination."

When pressed on his approach to addressing vaping, Hahn said repeatedly he would follow the “science and data,” rather than political ideology.

The FDA regulates a broad array of consumer goods and medicine — everything from new drugs and medical devices to packaged food, nutrition labeling, tobacco and cosmetics.

If confirmed, Hahn would face a raft of other pressing health issues beyond vaping, including the prescription opioid epidemic, safety problems with imported drugs and the regulation of CBD, a marijuana derivative that has become a trendy food additive.

Hahn, 59, would succeed Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who left the federal agency in April.