U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Determines That FDA Warning Letters Are Not Final Agency Action


This reinforces the significance of entities that receive warning letters timely responding to the FDA to provide an appropriate record for a court to evaluate if the FDA takes enforcement action at a future date.

On January 3, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Holistic Candlers and Consumers Association, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, No. 11-5118, determined that "warning letters" do not constitute "final agency action" subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).

In February 2010, the FDA issued "warning letters" to 15 manufacturers of ear candles. Ear candles are hollow tubes made of fabric soaked in beeswax or paraffin that a user places in his or her ear and sets on fire with an open flame.

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