FDA to Redefine “Healthy”

The term “healthy” as commonly used is quite subjective—meaning different things to different types of consumers. Culturally, there are sometimes fast-changing trends about what is healthy—foods rejected by consumers a few years ago are now regaining popularity and vice versa. Nevertheless, the FDA defines “healthy” and regulates how Continue Reading

Responsibility for FSMA Preventive Controls: If Not You, Then Who?

We wrote earlier this week about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and what it means, from a 30,000 foot perspective, for food companies. Today we are going to dig in a little deeper to one issue that we’ve seen clients wrestle with recently.

One core FSMA requirement is a new process that requires identification and prevention of all reasonably foreseeable… Continue Reading

Manic Monday: FSMA Compliance Starts Today!

Today, Sept. 19, 2016, is a big day for the food industry. It is the first compliance deadline[1] for regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – the law we’ve been talking about since 2011, the law touted as the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years.

So, what’s all the big fuss about?

Yes, “food facilities” (companies… Continue Reading

Summer vacay? Not for FDA.

While you were (hopefully) lounging at the beach or hiking mountains, the FDA was hard at work in Washington D.C. churning out final rules and guidance documents that impact food companies in various, and sometimes substantial, ways.

Some of those updates were expected (e.g., Nutrition Facts updates) and some were a surprise (e.g., a finalized GRAS rule, … Continue Reading

BPA in Plastics Requires a Prop 65 Warning — For Food Containers, California Imposes a Generic Point-of-Sale Warning

Last year the State of California added Bisphenol A (BPA) to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm under Prop 65 [the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986], a law which requires warnings for such exposures in California. The warning requirement kicked in a year later – May 11, 2016.

BPA is commonly used in plastics,… Continue Reading

(Un)COOL: How Congress (Unsuccessfully) Made Sausage Labeling Laws

Crises averted in international trade usually make good economics, but unsatisfying politics.  They’re a half-loaf of success in which positioning, inertia and self-interest usually win.  So it is with the recent repeal of meat country of origin labeling (“COOL”) laws.

The basic story is that the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills included COOL provisions… Continue Reading

Putting Food Donation Liability Protection Laws to Use

Although many of us will share a bountiful table of food with loved ones this holiday season, there are many for whom putting food on the table is a struggle (and not just during the holidays). At the same time, 40% of food in the United States goes to waste. How do we, as a society, address these sister issues of hunger and waste?

There are lots of reasons for this waste,… Continue Reading

New Year, 7 New Laws in Oregon: What You Need to Know Going Into 2016

Oregon decided to participate in New Year’s resolutions this year. As the season becomes colder, Oregon employers will be required to follow a host of new laws passed by the state legislature that will significantly affect the workplace. These laws, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, pertain to all restaurants, hotels, and food and beverage companies doing… Continue Reading

Naturally, It’s Only Natural. Or, Is It?

Think of that busy mom in a grocery store, standing in front of a wall of granola bars. How does she choose which one to buy? Does she pick the all-natural chocolate peanut butter kind or the not-all-natural chocolate peanut butter kind? Does she believe that products labeled “natural” actually are natural? What does “natural” even mean? What do YOU … Continue Reading


Getting to the Roots of It All

“Natural”, “organic”, obesity, water, subsidies, pesticides, “local”, “healthy”, genetically-modified food, diabetes, menu labeling, workers’ rights, food labeling, food safety, international trade – the list of hot-button issues in food and agriculture could go on for pages. As the national conversation about food and agriculture… Continue Reading

Managing FDA and USDA Compliance

The last few years have seen tremendous changes in the food industry, including passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act; continued criticism of the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) process; increased enforcement of and litigation about food claims and classifications and their intersection with marketing and advertising efforts; and increased… Continue Reading