4 members of FDA tobacco panel leave after court ruling

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says four members from its tobacco advisory panel, among them its chairman, have left after a court ruled some of its members had conflicts of interest.

The agency said late Thursday that the members were rescreened after the ruling and either resigned or were taken off the panel tasked with advising it on tobacco-related issues.

Those no longer on the panel include Dr. Jonathan Samet, who served as chairman. He's the director of the University of Southern California's Institute for Global Health.

In July, a federal judge in Washington ordered the agency to reconstitute the panel and barred it from using its 2011 report on menthol cigarettes.

Cigarette makers Lorillard Inc. and Reynolds American Inc. sued the agency in 2011, alleging conflicts of interest and bias by several members.