The FDA commissioner explains why he's cracking down on e-cigarettes, how he views science in the Trump administration and the reaction to his infamous "almonds don't lactate" line, and much more.
"All the great gains that we've made in this country, reducing smoking rates ... all of that will be reversed or lost if we can't address the youth use of e-cigarettes."
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is planning a crackdown on sales of e-cigarettes — a story that broke on Thursday — and he sat down exclusively with POLITICO to talk about why the agency is making such a dramatic move.
Gottlieb joined POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss his infamous "almonds don't lactate" comment and other nutrition news (starts at the 6:00 mark), explain his concerns about e-cigarettes and tease the FDA's pending crackdown (14:45), answer questions about the Trump administration's approach to science and vaccines (30:30), discuss FDA's new approach to approving opioids (35:30) and explain why the FDA's drug importation working group has been so low-profile (38:30).
And stick around for the lightning round of questions about Gottlieb's job, which starts at 42:30.
But first, POLITICO's Sarah Owermohle joins the podcast to put the e-cigarette news in context (starts at the 1:45 mark).
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
Gottlieb's infamous "an almond doesn't lactate" line at the POLITICO Pro summit.
TV host Stephen Colbert touting "An Almond Doesn't Lacate" line of t-shirts.
The FDA and Department of Agriculture's turf battle over lab-grown meat.
Gottlieb's reported plan to crack down on sales of e-cigarettes.
The fight over fetal tissue research inside HHS pitting "pro-life against pro-science."
Concerns about President Trump's inaccurate comments about vaccines.
FDA's formation of a working group to look at drug importation.
Gottlieb's announcement of a new approach to opioid approvals.