Battle over federal suntan policy escalates as summer approaches

On the other side of the political aisle, Democrats this week continued to further regulate producers of sunscreen by pressing for new labeling rules. A small group of Senate Democrats wrote to the Food and Drug Administration calling on the FDA to release a final rule that would require sunscreen products to include information on how well they protect against UVA rays, which can penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays.

"When will consumers be able to purchase sunscreen products that meet the new standards?" the senators wrote. "In the meantime, what is the agency doing to ensure that consumers are not purchasing products that do not actually offer the advertised level of protection?"

The Senate letter was led by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and signed by Sens. Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY).

Reed, Schumer, Leahy and Kerry have also sponsored legislation that would require FDA's 2007 draft rule on sunscreen labeling to take effect automatically if the FDA does not finalize it within six months.

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