Bellion Spirits, et al. v. U.S., et al.
Bellion Spirits, et al. v. U.S., et al. (D.D.C. Aug. 1, 2019): A federal D.C. trial judge ordered summary judgment for the federal government regarding a lawsuit filed by a liquor product manufacturer. Bellion Spirits manufactures vodka infused with a compound called NTX, a blend of ingredients the company alleges mitigates DNA damage caused by alcohol consumption. The company sought approval from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to market its vodka with 8 proposed health benefit claims. For the protection of consumers, TTB rigorously regulates health claims on alcohol products. It denied Bellion’s request after extensive review, including consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and scientific examination of Bellion’s evidence regarding NTX. Bellion alleged that TTB violated: (i) federal administrative law; (ii) the company’s First Amendment right to free speech; and (iii) federal procedural law by consulting FDA during decision-making. Each of these arguments was rejected by the court in favor of TTB. Read the decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – November 15, 2019.