Scientology and the FDA: A Look Back, A Modern Analysis, And A New Approach

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Scientology and the FDA: A Look Back, A Modern Analysis, And A New Approach

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Title: Scientology and the FDA: A Look Back, A Modern Analysis, And A New Approach
Author: Cavanaugh, Jeanne
Citation: Scientology and the FDA: A Look Back, A Modern Analysis, And A New Approach (2004 Third Year Paper)
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Abstract: Clashes between the government’s power to regulate activity and religious adherents’ free exercise right to practice their religion are frequent. However, for some federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), conflicts with religion are not commonplace and, when they do occur, are arduous and complicated. This paper seeks to explore the historical legal battle between the FDA and the Church of Scientology (Scientology), an off-beat religious movement that employs a device known as an E-meter in its activities. Scientology alleges that the E-meter has therapeutic and curative properties. The paper examines the conflict from three perspectives. First, it provides a narrative account of the conflict between Scientology and the FDA as well as an analysis of three significant legal cases that arose during the conflict. Second, it examines how both constitutional law and the Federal, Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) have evolved since the clash between the FDA and Scientology and how these changes in the law would alter the judicial analysis if the Scientology cases were tried in the courts today. Finally, this paper suggests an amendment to the FDCA that, if adopted and applied to a religious device similar to that of the E-meter, would satisfy the FDA’s asserted interest in regulating harmless religious devices, would not significantly interfere with the free exercise of religion, and would avoid the exorbitant expenditure of time, money, and resources by the FDA.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:8965552

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