The newly proposed federal budget would cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in fiscal year (FY) 2018. which would be a crippling blow to the scientific community. This would represent the largest cut in the history of the nation's cancer research program. It would be devastating for cancer patients and be a major setback in the country's work to end suffering and death from cancer.At a time when extraordinary progress is being made in developing innovative new treatments for cancer—particularly melanoma—we cannot afford an 18% decrease in funding. MAC joins with the melanoma community and the biomedical research community in not only opposing this cut, but supporting a $2 billion increase over the FY17 level for NIH.
Note: This measure failed to go into effect when Congress failed to vote on the American Health Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act imposed a 10 percent tax on the use of tanning beds. Effort to repeal the ACA include provisions to repeal this tax. MAC believes it is a valuable tool in the effort to discourage tanning bed use. We are encouraging our member foundations and supporters to contact their Congressional representatives and oppose this action. See below for a sample letter. Feel free to adapt it to your own needs.
The FDA recently closed the public comments period for its proposed new rules regulating the use of tanning beds. The rules would ban those 18 and under from indoor tanning and require users to sign a risk acknowledgment certificate before use and every six months thereafter. MAC and many of its member foundations submitted comments to the FDA supporting the rules.
Evidence linking the use of UV tanning devices to melanoma and other skin cancers is documented and overwhelming. The World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Academy of Pediatrics are among the many organizations that condemn tanning bed use. According to a 2012 investigation by the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, the tanning industry has specifically targeted the teen market and provided misleading information about the risks of indoor tanning. Parental permission laws do not offer adequate protection for children in these circumstances.
Although we would prefer to see a total ban on indoor tanning, we believe the proposed restrictions are a step in the right direction, one that will help protect the health of our children and educate users about the cancer risk they are assuming. In the meantime, we will continue the pressure on the tanning industry!
UPDATE: Now that the public comment period has passed, MAC is joining with other organizations to urge the FDA to finalize its proposed rules quickly. Here is a copy of our comments. Please feel free to use them as a template to submit your own. Send to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf (firstname.lastname@example.org) and HHS Secretary Burwell (Sylvia.email@example.com)
MAC members have also begun partnering with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) to support state and local legislation to restrict tanning bed use. Unless and until the FDA's rules are adopted, we must work at the state and local levels to put restrictions in place.