Theodora McCormick Quoted in “Trump Picks Antitrust Lawyer to Head FTC, Leaving Uncertain Impact on Consumer Protection”

Natural Products Insider

Theodora McCormick, a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s Princeton and Newark offices, was quoted in Natural Products Insider, in “Trump Picks Antitrust Lawyer to Head FTC, Leaving Uncertain Impact on Consumer Protection.”

Following is an excerpt:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC, or Commission) will likely soon be controlled by a Republican majority, but some lawyers familiar with the agency said they do not expect a sea change in policies impacting consumer protection issues, such as the types of enforcement cases brought against the dietary supplement industry. …

Based on Trump’s pick to lead the Commission, regulatory attorney Theodora McCormick of the law firm Epstein Becker & Green P.C. opined FTC’s focus will be in the antitrust arena. The Commission is responsible for enforcing antitrust laws to promote competition and protect consumers from anticompetitive business practices and mergers. It also has the responsibility to crack down on deceptive and unfair acts and practices, such as fraudulent weight loss advertisements. …

McCormick, whose experience includes defending dietary supplement companies in advertising disputes with the Commission, echoed Bond’s observations.

“I think the FTC is going to have much less of an appetite to try to impose these heightened drug-style clinical trial standards that they had been trying to impose on supplement companies,” the New Jersey-based attorney said in a phone interview. “I just don’t see this new administration having the same appetite for that.”

Under the Obama administration, the Commission proved successful in negotiating consent decrees in which some companies facing the threat of FTC litigation agreed to randomized controlled clinical studies, she observed. On the other hand, McCormick noted the Commission in recent years has lost some high-profile court cases related to advertising disputes with the dietary supplement industry, including an FTC lawsuit filed against Bayer Corp. for allegedly violating a consent decree.

While McCormick pointed out the Commission will always target individuals “making just completely bogus claims,” she added, “[T]his idea of trying to impose these heightened drug-style clinical trials on supplement makers is going to be shelled for the foreseeable future.”