Five tobacco companies filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), claiming that nine new graphic warning labels the agency required to be placed on cigarette packages violate their First Amendment rights. See related RegBlog post. In a final rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declined to alter current air-quality standards for carbon monoxide but added a requirement for states to monitor carbon monoxide levels in areas near roads in heavily populated areas. Faced with continued concern expressed by business groups, the Obama administration tried to assure industry groups that forthcoming ozone standards would be as flexible as possible in order to minimize impacts on "costs, jobs, and the economy." The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a new whistleblower program which includes an online submission form as well as bounties for successful tips. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has initiated an investigation into allegations by an SEC attorney that the SEC destroyed documents involving activity at large financial institutions and potentially compromised enforcement. The administrator of British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims fund, Kenneth Feinberg, argued through a lawyer that judicial oversight of the claims process is not needed. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), citing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report, announced plans to propose legislation that would mandate FBI background checks for employees at power plants, water treatment plants, and other critical infrastructure. The DHS report warned of the vulnerability of critical facilities to physical and cyber attacks launched by employees. The FDA approved Zelboraf, a drug designed to treat difficult cases of skin cancer. The drug is part of a new wave of treatments for patients with particular genetic makeups, as it is designed for those who can be tested and shown to have a certain genetic mutation.
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