The court found today that this labeling requirement by the FDA violated corporate speech rights. The court’s 2-1 decision is counter to another appeals court’s ruling in a similar case earlier this year, which could set the stage for a showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the decision, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote:
“This case raises novel questions about the scope of the government’s authority to force the manufacturer of a product to go beyond making purely factual and accurate commercial disclosures and undermine its own economic interest — in this case, by making ‘every single pack of cigarettes in the country mini billboard’ for the government’s anti-smoking message.”
Brown added that the FDA “has not provided a shred of evidence” to prove that these graphic on cigarette labels would reduce smoking.