For Export

Cows relaxing in the meadow

COVID-19 Webinar: Federal Regulatory Changes Impacting the Food Industry – Recording Available

On April 22, OFW Principal John Dillard presented a webinar addressing the federal regulatory changes that have been implemented to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar also discussed guidance from USDA, FDA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Center for Disease Control as well as some of the best practices that have been …

COVID-19 Webinar: Federal Regulatory Changes Impacting the Food Industry – Recording Available Read More »

Factory worker cleaning hands

Sanitation Measures to Control COVID-19 in Manufacturing Facilities

Facility managers – not just food facility managers – are being “encouraged” to take strong preventative measures to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 for individuals within their premises.  Managers are also reminded that the actions taken need to be documented.  It is recognized that certain of the recommended measures made by the Center for …

Sanitation Measures to Control COVID-19 in Manufacturing Facilities Read More »

Male hand hand holding Q&A word with wooden cube block

FDA COVID-19 Food Safety Q&A

The FDA is currently posting updates in a Q&A format on its Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage.  The Q&A provides information to food production/processing facilities and retail food establishments regarding best practices during the ongoing public health emergency.  For example, the website provides some salient advice on social distancing in food …

FDA COVID-19 Food Safety Q&A Read More »

fresh eggs in a cardboard tray

Complete Label Exemption for Shell Eggs During Pandemic

Today the FDA issued a guidance to provide temporary flexibility regarding the packaging and labeling of shell eggs sold to consumers in retail food establishments.  Temporary Policy Regarding Packaging and Labeling of Shell Eggs Sold by Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Guidance for Industry (Apr. 2020) The guidance essentially permits retailers …

Complete Label Exemption for Shell Eggs During Pandemic Read More »

woman looking at menu at restaurant

Menu Labeling Flexibility for Covered Establishments During Pandemic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a guidance to chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments (“covered establishments”) that sell standard menu items covered under the menu labeling provisions of section 403(q)(5)(H) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to provide flexibility regarding these menu labeling requirements during the COVID-19 …

Menu Labeling Flexibility for Covered Establishments During Pandemic Read More »

silver food packaging on a wooden background

New Guidance Documents from the FDA on Foods Labeling and Postponement of Compliance Date for Revised Nutrition/Supplement Facts Panels

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the issuance of a new Guidance document pertaining to nutrition labeling during the COVID-19 health crisis. It is intended to provide restaurants and food manufacturers with flexibility regarding nutrition labeling so that they can sell certain packaged foods during the current pandemic.  This guidance does not …

New Guidance Documents from the FDA on Foods Labeling and Postponement of Compliance Date for Revised Nutrition/Supplement Facts Panels Read More »

Hands holding towel and disinfectant

New Policies Released by the EPA Today in Response to the COVID-19 Health Crisis

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two policy statements as a part of the Administration’s COVID-19 response. First, the EPA furthered its commitment to expediting the registration process for new surface disinfectant products. The EPA also announced an enforcement discretion policy under which the Agency will not seek penalties for certain civil violations related …

New Policies Released by the EPA Today in Response to the COVID-19 Health Crisis Read More »

Fresh produce sold at a market by farmer

Food and Agriculture in the Phase 3 Coronavirus Bill

By Julia Johnson Food and agriculture continues to be a priority for Congress and the Administration as the government tackles the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. After tense negotiations, the Senate passed a third stimulus bill late last night. Here is what is in it for food and agriculture. Before the second coronavirus stimulus …

Food and Agriculture in the Phase 3 Coronavirus Bill Read More »

Young woman in medical mask in grocery store because of Covid 19

Food Security is National Security in a Time of Crisis – Phase One and Phase Two Coronavirus Stimulus Bills

By Julia Johnson The Coronavirus Pandemic has dramatically changed life as we know it in the United States. Government from the local to the federal level, the private sector, and non-profit organizations alike are practicing unprecedented levels of partnership and cooperation to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19. Recent bills passed by Congress and …

Food Security is National Security in a Time of Crisis – Phase One and Phase Two Coronavirus Stimulus Bills Read More »

Feet in sneakers on top of arrow

FDA and CFSAN on Issuing Guidance Documents Concerning COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Notice that set forth the process that it and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) will use in expediting the availability of guidance documents concerning the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. It will include essential recommendations and policies and will eliminate requisite notice and …

FDA and CFSAN on Issuing Guidance Documents Concerning COVID-19 Read More »

A big pile of bulk blue medical masks

Defense Production Act Update – 3/23/2020

Today, the President signed an Executive Order to authorize the Sec. of HHS to designate medical equipment as “critical” or “essential” to the national response to the crisis. Under DPA § 102, the President can take action to prohibit the hording of materials designated as “scarce” or “essential.” Sec. 102 prohibits the accumulation of such …

Defense Production Act Update – 3/23/2020 Read More »

Testing materials for COVID 19 Corona Virus

COVID-19 Update for Diagnostic Device Manufacturers

The availability of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) diagnostic tests is critical to an effective response to the current pandemic. FDA has taken measures to permit the distribution of such tests in advance of receiving authorization to do so from the agency in an attempt to remove bureaucratic barriers that could affect the nation’s ability to mount …

COVID-19 Update for Diagnostic Device Manufacturers Read More »

Milk spilt on wood table

Oh, SNAP! FNS Still Hasn’t Released Its FY 2019 SNAP Retailer Management Summary

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has oversight over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The agency’s responsibilities include the licensing of more than 250,000 SNAP-authorized retail food stores. FNS also is authorized to bring administrative enforcement proceedings, including trafficking charges, against SNAP retailers to prevent fraud and other problem violations. FNS publishes annual data …

Oh, SNAP! FNS Still Hasn’t Released Its FY 2019 SNAP Retailer Management Summary Read More »

Cannabis with black backdrop

The Cannabis Industry’s Own Private Idaho: State Court Upholds Seizure of Truckload of Hemp Bound for Colorado

Big Sky Scientific is a Montana-based manufacturer of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products, including isolate powders, oils, and distillates.  Big Sky sources its products from hemp producers, including in Oregon.  During late 2018, it purchased more than two tons of hemp plant material containing less than 0.3% THC from an Oregon producer and arranged for its …

The Cannabis Industry’s Own Private Idaho: State Court Upholds Seizure of Truckload of Hemp Bound for Colorado Read More »

Shredding files

Oh SNAP! FNS Removes All Names from the SAM List

GSA’s System for Award Management is a comprehensive database of persons excluded from doing business with the federal government.  Widely known as the SAM List, most of the people whose names can be found there were debarred or suspended from doing business with the federal government.  Debarment and suspension are serious sanctions that prevent persons …

Oh SNAP! FNS Removes All Names from the SAM List Read More »

Judge slams gavel

Oh, SNAP! Federal District Court Judge Orders FNS to Remove Owner of SNAP Retailer’s Name from the SAM List

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Not surprisingly, that means that FNS is required to follow regulations and guidance issued by USDA.  This fundamental concept appears to have been forgotten at FNS, at least in the context of the agency’s decision to list the names …

Oh, SNAP! Federal District Court Judge Orders FNS to Remove Owner of SNAP Retailer’s Name from the SAM List Read More »

Supreme Court Building of the United States

Oh, SNAP! The Supreme Court Holds Store Level SNAP Redemption Data is Confidential Under FOIA Exemption 4

In a major victory for grocers, the United States Supreme Court (in a 6-3 decision) held that store level SNAP retailer data is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Exemption 4 precludes the disclosure of “commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.”  5 …

Oh, SNAP! The Supreme Court Holds Store Level SNAP Redemption Data is Confidential Under FOIA Exemption 4 Read More »

Large assortment of honey and similar syrups

Added Sugars in Pure Honey and Maple Syrup, and Other Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups, and in Dried Cranberry and Cranberry Beverage Products

Today, FDA published notice of the availability of a final guidance for industry, entitled: The Declaration of Added Sugars on Honey, Maple Syrup, Other Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups, and Certain Cranberry Products (June 2019).  The final guidance provides industry with some rational relief from the added sugars nutrition labeling requirements that predated it.  That relief …

Added Sugars in Pure Honey and Maple Syrup, and Other Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups, and in Dried Cranberry and Cranberry Beverage Products Read More »

Farmer walks through lettuce farm

Crop Insurance Arbitration: Navigating the Landmines

Two years ago, a Kentucky farmer won an unusual $640,000 arbitration award against his Federal crop insurance AIP (approved insurance provider).  During the arbitration, the farmer presented evidence to prove that the AIP had mishandled his policy, leaving the farm unprotected for two major crop losses. In one case, the AIP’s agent had placed the …

Crop Insurance Arbitration: Navigating the Landmines Read More »

Farm with stormy clouds above

FARMERS: Yes, heavy spring rains can affect your FCIC crop insurance coverage.

It’s no secret that weeks of heavy rain and snow melt have wreaked havoc with farm operations across the Midwest this spring.  Sixty tornadoes hit the lower plains last weekend alone, and rivers in some areas are cresting at levels not seen since the catastrophic floods of 1993.  April and May are prime planting months …

FARMERS: Yes, heavy spring rains can affect your FCIC crop insurance coverage. Read More »

Little boy finishes meal

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Moves Forward

Reauthorization of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has been stalled since 2015.  Even though the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee reported their respective bills, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 (S. 3136) and the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. …

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Moves Forward Read More »

FDA holds public meeting in April 2015

FDA’s Final Rule on Intentional Adulteration of Food: Public Meeting and Guidance

FDA has announced a public meeting to discuss its recent Draft Guidance for industry on the agency’s intentional adulteration of food regulation, promulgated under FSMA, i.e., “Mitigation Strategies to Protect Against Intentional Adulteration” (Final Rule), codified at 21 C.F.R. Part 121.  The public meeting is taking place on April 17, 2019, from 8:30 AM to …

FDA’s Final Rule on Intentional Adulteration of Food: Public Meeting and Guidance Read More »

Judge hits gavel on table

Play It Again SAM: Federal Judge Orders FNS to Remove Owner of Disqualified SNAP Retailer from SAM List

Owners of supermarkets and convenience stores are generally not aware that one of the perils of participating in the SNAP program may be placement on the General Services Administration’s System for Award Management list of excluded and disqualified parties (“SAM List”).  That’s true because few retailers have heard of the SAM List and because USDA’s …

Play It Again SAM: Federal Judge Orders FNS to Remove Owner of Disqualified SNAP Retailer from SAM List Read More »

Statue of lady justice

OFW Law Adds Three Principal Attorneys to the Firm

The Principals of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz (OFW Law) are pleased to announce the promotion of Kristen O’Brien, Mason Weeda and John Dillard to Principal Attorneys at the firm.  Kristen, Mason and John have all produced excellent work, and have demonstrated deep dedication and commitment to our clients.  We welcome them as Principal Attorneys, …

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President Bush

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. The passing of President George H. W. Bush has brought the whole nation to focus on his life and the contributions that he made to our country.  President Reagan brought the Soviet Union down, but President Bush managed the clean-up of the Cold War.  Eastern Europe emerged from the …

President Bush Read More »

Measuring tape on white table

Opinion: The Obesity Equation Calories in; Calories Out

During this Holiday Season, we all enjoy those extra calories and special desserts. It is part of giving thanks and enjoying family. There is no need to give that up, but let’s also keep an eye on the obesity equation. Food labeling regulations and guidelines, such as the USDA- HHS Dietary Guidelines for for Americans, are …

Opinion: The Obesity Equation Calories in; Calories Out Read More »

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program logo

Disqualified from SNAP? SAM I Am!

Owners of retail food stores permanently disqualified from participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are saddled with serious consequences in addition to the loss of the store’s ability to accept food stamp benefits (EBT). After USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) permanently disqualifies a store, the agency promptly searches its SNAP retailer database …

Disqualified from SNAP? SAM I Am! Read More »

Marshall Matz listens to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

A Career of Service: Matz Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Congressional Hunger Center

This evening, the Congressional Hunger Center will present its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Marshall Matz.  However, if you were to ask him, Marsh would tell you that receiving a “Lifetime Achievement Award” does not mean he’s done advocating for public policy to address pressing food security and nutrition challenges. Others, such as former Senate …

A Career of Service: Matz Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Congressional Hunger Center Read More »

Close up of flax seeds

Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates that Qualify as Dietary Fiber

FDA has published a guidance that specifies eight (8) additional substances that qualify as dietary fiber for purposes of nutrition labeling: The Declaration of Certain Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates as Dietary Fiber on Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels: Guidance for Industry (June 2018). When it revised its Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts regulatory requirements …

Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates that Qualify as Dietary Fiber Read More »

Monetary penalty

SNAP Trafficking and Other Civil Monetary Penalties Edge Higher

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) may impose civil monetary penalties (CMP) on retailers that are determined to have violated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations.  These penalties are most frequently imposed against SNAP retailers who transfer ownership of their stores after being disqualified for trafficking.  FNS may also grant a CMP in lieu of …

SNAP Trafficking and Other Civil Monetary Penalties Edge Higher Read More »

Collection of artificially flavored candy

Synthetic Flavors’ Safety Questioned – Strategy Needed to Address Consequence

Food manufacturers using the following seven (7) synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants should take note that the safety of these ingredients is being challenged: Benzophenone (a/k/a diphenylketone), Ethyl acrylate, Eugenyl methyl ether (a/k/a 4-allylveratrole, methyl eugenol, or Methyleugenol), Myrcene (a/k/a 7-methyl-3-methylene-1,6-octadiene), Pulegone (a/k/a p-menth-4(8)-en-3-one), Pyridine, and Styrene. Each of these substances is authorized for food …

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The sun sets over a field of crops

Federal Crop Insurance AIPs: Some Misconceptions about Underwriting Gains

Debate over the 2018 Farm Bill, likely to start in earnest this week with House consideration of H.R. 2, may focus sharp attention on the question of whether taxpayer costs for Federal Crop Insurance are reasonable and supportable.  At least five amendments filed for floor consideration are intended to limit these costs in different ways. …

Federal Crop Insurance AIPs: Some Misconceptions about Underwriting Gains Read More »