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Case Detail


R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. FDA
On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that affected businesses lack standing to challenge a federal agency’s appointment of advisory committee members with financial conflicts of interest. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief arguing that the Government’s efforts to prevent such challenges from going forward would effectively end all meaningful judicial enforcement of statutes designed to ensure impartial federal decision-making. The case involved an FDA advisory committee created by Congress to provide health-related advice regarding whether the use of menthol flavoring in cigarettes ought to be prohibited. Three of FDA appointees to the advisory committee were doctors who have been paid substantial sums to testify on a regular basis on behalf of plaintiffs in cigarette product-liability litigation. WLF argued that such blatant violations of federal conflict-of-interest laws ought to be judicially reviewable.
Case Status:
Loss.
More Information and Downloads:
4/27/2015: Download the Brief
Press Release: WLF Asks D.C. Circuit to Uphold Challenge to FDA's Appointment of Biased Federal Advisory Committee
Press Release: D.C. Circuit to Hear Oral Argument in Challenge to Appointment of Biased Advisory Committee Members
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