The Reynolds, Lorillard Lawsuit and The Wellstone Monopoly Act of 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wellstone Filters Sciences, Inc., (OTC Bulletin Board: WFLR) the leading reduced-risk cigarette filter technology company lauds a recent lawsuit filed by Reynolds American and Lorillard challenging new FDA legislation in Federal Court. The lawsuit challenges various provisions of a recent bill that radically expands the FDA’s authority to regulate cigarettes and cigarette substitutes, including alternative technologies such as Reduced Exposure Products. The Reynolds suit alleges that the radical expansion of warning requirements in the bill runs afoul of the First Amendment. Other critics refer to the legislation colloquially as the “Marlboro Monopoly Act of 2009″ because of Philip Morris’ close collaboration in the drafting of the bill and the expansive authority it vests in the FDA to further limit cigarette advertising and thereby insulate Philip Morris’ market share from any new competition.
The suit does not challenge broader provisions of the bill that empower the FDA to review and approve “modified risk” products such as Reduced Exposure Products prior to their release and distribution to the consuming public.
Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc. will be largely unaffected by the outcome of the suit because it is not a cigarette manufacturer. Wellstone’s CEO L. J. Hand stated, “We are exclusively a filter technology company, dedicated to research, discovery and development of methods and compounds that remove a wide range of toxins and carcinogens without compromising taste.”
Unchallenged portions of the legislation mark a sharp reversal of government policy regarding the treatment of reduced risk tobacco products. Prior to the current regulatory overhaul, manufacturers were strictly forbidden from advertising a “safer cigarette” due to government concerns that any such claims would encourage the consuming public to start or continue smoking. To the contrary, the Family Prevention and Control Act explicitly requires the FDA to regulate and approve self-proclaimed “safer cigarettes” prior to distribution.
Mr. Hand continued, “Litigation inevitably triggers media attention and the more time policy pundits and analysts spend leafing through this bill, the more quickly they will realize that the FDA is effectively mandating the technology we have been developing for years.” Moreover, Mr. Hand states, “The government has created a custom built niche for our product. Philip Morris may have bankrolled the overhaul, but this legislation has our name written all over it.”
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc. has developed and patented a “Reduced Exposure Product,” or “REP” cigarette filter that reduces toxins and carcinogens without compromising taste. With over a decade of research and development, Wellstone is the only company specializing in Reduced Exposure Products. As such, Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc.’s amply documented filter technology is ideally suited for new FDA oversight of Tobacco products.
Note: Except for the historical information contained herein, this new release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results or timelines to differ materially are risks associated with research and clinical development, regulatory approvals, supply capabilities and reliance on third-party manufacturers, product commercialization, competition, litigation, and the other risk factors listed from time to time in reports filed by Wellstone with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to risks described under the caption “Important Factors That May Affect Our Business, Our Results of Operation and Our Stock Price.” The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent judgments of the management of Wellstone as of the date of this release. Wellstone and its managers and agents undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Wellstone Filters Sciences, Inc.