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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Reps. Barr, Yarmuth leads initiative to back distillery-produced hand sanitizer effort

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking to expedite Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance regarding allowing distilleries to continue manufacturing hand sanitizer in the wake of shortages created by COVID-19.

Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and John Yarmuth (D-KY) have led the initiative, co-authoring Correspondence to FDA Administrator Stephen Hahn that has been signed by 87 members of Congress representing districts nationwide.

The correspondence seeks an update on FDA guidelines recognizing the use of undenatured alcohol in sanitizer distillers have readily available and is compliant with the World Health Organization’s hand sanitizer formula while possessing the same effectiveness as denatured alcohol.

“Through the current guidance, the FDA is standing in the way of hundreds of thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer from being produced and given to those on the front lines battling this pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “We have a responsibility to provide more resources to help flatten the curve, and alleviating this burden would allow distilleries the opportunity to step up and help their communities. We strongly urge the agency to update its guidance to recognize the use of undenatured alcohol in the production of hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 health crisis and work with industry on reasonable safeguards to keep hand sanitizer out of the hands of children. This will ensure distillers do not face a tax bill for filling a vital need in their communities.”