Mr. Bryan was married four times and divorced three. He is survived by his wife, Mairi Graham Bryan, whom he married in 2007 after they had been together 15 years; a sister, Joan Gates, of Richmond, Va.; two children from his marriage to Phoebe Miller, St. George Bryan, known as Saint, and Lansing Andolina, both of Tacoma, Wash.; a daughter, Amanda Bryan, of Charlotte, N.C., from his marriage to Judith Snyder; two stepchildren, Derek Simonds, of Manhattan, and Tiffany Simonds-Frew, of Guilford, from his marriage to Monique Widmer; and four grandchildren.
“Friendly Fire” was made into an Emmy Award-winning television movie that starred Carol Burnett and Ned Beatty as the Mullens and Sam Waterston as Mr. Bryan.
Courtlandt Dixon Barnes Bryan, known as Courty, was born in Manhattan on April 22, 1936, and grew up in various locations, but mostly in Doylestown, Pa. His father, Joseph Bryan III, was a magazine writer and editor who had a fascination with unidentified flying objects, a subject C. D. B. Bryan would explore himself in his final book, published in 1995 after an academic symposium that examined claims of alien visitations: “Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Alien Abductions, UFOs and the Conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” His parents divorced when he was in his late teens, and his mother, Katharine Lansing Barnes, married the novelist John O’Hara, who was especially influential in turning the young man toward writing fiction.
Mr. Bryan’s career was that of an old-fashioned man of letters. He wrote both novels and nonfiction books; he taught writing at Colorado State University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; he contributed articles to many magazines; and he was a voluminous book reviewer, including for The New York Times Book Review, where over the years he assessed works by Tom Wolfe, Richard Ford, Michael Herr, Erica Jong, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., William F. Buckley and Julio Cortazar, among others.
C. D. B. Bryan, a novelist and journalist whose 1976 book, “Friendly Fire,” about the accidental death of a soldier in Vietnam, the consequent anguish of his family and their rage at the Army and the federal government, became one of the enduring works of reportage on the Vietnam War, died Tuesday at home in Guilford, Conn. He was 73.
But his career was most distinguished by “Friendly Fire,” a book that began as a single magazine article for The New Yorker and was subsequently serialized in several consecutive issues. It was the story of the death of Michael Eugene Mullen, a draftee from LaPorte City, Iowa, who, on Feb. 18, 1970, was killed by shrapnel from an errant artillery shell fired by his fellow troops. His parents, Peg and Gene, doubted the Army’s official account of his death. They were frustrated and aggrieved by the shabby treatment their further inquiries received, and the book traces their path focusing on Peg Mullen’s life-altering outrage from quietly patriotic Americans, members of what President Richard M. Nixon called “the silent majority,” to antiwar activists.
In spite of his spotty academic career, he was admitted to Yale. After graduation he served in the Army in South Korea in the late 1950s, an unhappy episode that also found its way into the novel.
The cause was cancer, said his son, St. George Bryan.
Mr. Bryan’s other books include the novels “The Great Dethriffe,” which is set in the 1950s and ’60s and consciously parallels “The Great Gatsby,” and “Beautiful Women, Ugly Scenes,” about a middle-aged man’s failed marriages. He also wrote coffee-table books about the National Geographic Society and the National Air and Space Museum.
Bryan used those storytelling skills in several publications, including the New Yorker, Harper’s and the New York Times Book Review, for which he did scores of reviews.
Bryan graduated from Yale University, was an Army veteran and wrote several books in addition to “Friendly Fire.”
C.D.B. Bryan, whose full name was Courtlandt Dixon Barnes Bryan, was born in New York City in 1936. He always enjoyed writing and credited his stepfather, novelist John O’Hara, with nurturing his interest in fiction.
Although Bryan wrote extensively for several magazines throughout his career, he was best known for “Friendly Fire.”
C.D.B. Bryan, whose 1976 book “Friendly Fire” about the accidental death of a soldier in Vietnam struck a chord with disillusioned Americans, has died. He was 73.
The book, which started as an article for the New Yorker, is based on the 1970 friendly fire shrapnel death of Iowa soldier Michael Eugene Mullen. It chronicled his parents’ doubts about the Army’s official account of the death, their quest for answers and the transformation of his mother, Peg Mullen, into an ardent antiwar activist. She died in October.
“He was one of the great conversationalists of his time. He could really hold a room,” she said.
Bryan died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Guilford, Conn., said his wife, Mairi. He was holding one of his favorite shaken martinis when he died, she said.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, a son, a stepson and a stepdaughter.
From a regulatory perspective, 2020 was “more of the same” from FDA. FDA continues to seek public input on the regulation of CBD, but has not taken any formal action regarding regulatory clearance for use as an ingredient in FDA-regulated products. FDA has, however, continued to issue Warning Letters companies making egregious claims or distributing contaminated product. FDA issued 21 Warning Letters, more than half of which were focused on impermissible COVID-19 claims. Other claims included those relating to cancer, pain relief, arthritis, artery blockage, heart disease, immune disorders, diabetes/blood sugar control, stress and anxiety, ADHD, depression, and more, and FDA continues to assert that use of CBD in foods or beverages constitutes impermissible addition of a drug to such products, in violation of the FD&C Act. FDA considers company websites, social media posts (including retweets), marketing materials and more to assess the claims made by a company.
CBD litigation in 2020 reinforced a several things about the CBD (and other hemp derivatives) industry, including:
CBD and CBD-containing products are ubiquitous, yet there is significant misunderstanding about their regulatory status. CBD is cannabidiol, one of more than a hundred different active compounds that can be derived from the hemp plant. The 2018 Farm Bill changed the legal status of hemp, separating it from the Schedule 1 substance known as “marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act. The effect was to decriminalize the plant that meets the definition of hemp, as well as its derivatives. But, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was quick to point out just hours after the President signed the bill, FDA’s requirements relating to food, beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics and other products regulated by the federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) were not modified.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dove deeper into the CBD marketing claims action this year as well. It too issued Warning Letters to companies marketing CBD to address COVID-19, and in December, announced the “first law enforcement crackdown on deceptive claims” in the CBD market, part of its initiative entitled “Operation CBDeceit.” Six companies, each of which was making false and misleading health claims, were the target of FTC enforcement actions that resulted in, among other things, monetary penalties of up to $85,000 each. One item to note in particular was that one of the Operation CBDeceit enforcement actions also involved claims relating to cannabigerol (CBG), a different cannabinoid compound derived from hemp. The market is starting to see an increasing number of claims relating to these other cannabinoids, and regulatory and litigation scrutiny of these other derivatives is not expected to be any different from CBD. Of course, FDA and FTC Warning Letters and enforcement can be an invitation to private parties to initiate litigation. 2020 saw more than twenty new putative claims action claims filed against CBD companies in California, Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts, and substantive rulings in many of the cases filed toward the end of 2019. These cases center around consumer protection claims, alleging liability for actions such as selling product with less than the labeled CBD content, misleading the consumer about the legality of the product, and making false or misleading claims regarding the benefits of CBD.
These claims are generally met with motions to dismiss that pursue preemption, primary jurisdiction or standing arguments. Primary jurisdiction has largely been the most successful of these, leading multiple courts to stay the litigation while FDA continues to pursue rulemaking. See, e.g., Snyder v. Green Roads of Florida LLC, Case No. 0:19-cv-62342 (S.D.Fla.). Multiple courts have noted that “FDA is under considerable pressure from Congress and the industry to expedite the publication of regulations and policy guidance regarding CBD products.” See, e.g., Colette et al v. CV Sciences, Inc., 2:19-cv-10227 (D.D.Cal.)(referencing Snyder). However, these primary jurisdiction arguments are not always successful, as one defendant in a Florida action discovered. In that case, the judge ruled that no matter the outcome of FDA rulemaking, it would not be expected to allow actual CBD content to differ from labeled CBD content, as the suit claimed. See Potter v. PotNetwork Holdings Inc. et al., Case No 1:19-cv-24017 (S.D.Fla.). Nonetheless, we cannot expect stays to last indefinitely, especially if FDA is not seen as making any progress. The experience with proposed FDA rulemaking in the “naturals” space will likely serve as a good guide here.
For further reading on this topic and others, please see our 2020 Food Litigation Round-Up.