Judge Tells Big Tobacco Oversight by Courts and FDA Isn’t Either/Or

Friday, August 03, 2012
Like it or not, the tobacco industry will continue being monitored and regulated by both the federal courts and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington.
Cigarette makers filed motions to end court monitoring of their marketing practices. The supervision was established 13 years ago under an injunction stemming from a federal racketeering lawsuit.
The appellate court upheld a decision by District Judge Gladys Kessler that a 2009 law (the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) giving the FDA power to monitor the industry and restrict the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products did not end her oversight of the companies.
A three-judge panel said the defendants’ history of non-compliance with various legal requirements gave Kessler no reason to assume they would comply with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
In other tobacco/FDA news, a lawsuit by Lorillard Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. alleging conflicts of interest in the FDA advisory panel’s review of tobacco products has been allowed to proceed.
District Court Judge Richard Leon rejected the FDA’s motion to dismiss the suit that calls for the agency to stop relying on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee due to alleged financial conflict of interest and bias by several members.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
D.C. Circuit Says Big Tobacco Is Still a Threat (by Ryan Abbott, Courthouse News)
Judge Lets Challenge to FDA Tobacco Panel Proceed (by Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press)
Cigarette Makers Lose Bid to End Racketeer Case Monitor (by David McLaughlin, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
U.S. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al (U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia)



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