What We're Reading: Vitamin E and Vaping Illnesses; Deferred Action Lawsuit; FDA Commissioner Contenders

Health officials in New York are investigating vitamin E's connection to a string of vaping illnesses in the state; civil rights groups are suing the Trump administration over its decision to deport immigrants with life-threatening illnesses; an oncologist from MD Anderson Cancer Center met with President Trump about a potential nomination for FDA commissioner.

Vitamin E May Be Linked to Vaping Illnesses

New York health officials are investigating the role of vitamin E acetate in a string of illnesses related to vaping, reported The New York Times. According to the state's Department of Health, there were “very high levels” of the compound identified in 13 samples from 8 of 34 patients in the state who have gotten sick. However, the case is not closed on what’s causing these illnesses, particularly since the compound hasn’t been confirmed as a factor in the majority of the cases. A spokesman for the FDA said that more information is needed to better understand if there’s a link between any specific substances and the illnesses.

Civil Rights Groups Sue Over Deferred Action Program

Days after the Trump administration announced that it would reconsider its decision to deport immigrants with life-threatening illnesses, civil rights groups are suing the administration over the decision. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Lawyers for Civil Rights filed a lawsuit in Boston federal court challenging the decision to end the deferred action program as of August 7, according to The Associated Press. The groups argue that the decision was made without the advance public notice and justification required by law before changing a significant federal government regulation.

MD Anderson Oncologist in the Running for FDA Commissioner

With the Trump administration looking to nail down a permanent FDA commissioner by November 1, STAT News has reported that Texas oncologist Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center, met with the president on Wednesday about a possible nomination. Unlike many past commissioners, Hahn has no Washington experience. Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, MD, is also in the running, according to experts. Four former FDA commissioners have come out in support of Sharpless.