Food Manufacturing, Processing, and Marketing

“Top Legal and Regulatory Issues for Food and Beverage Companies in 2022” Online Seminar Hosted by OFW Law and the Food Institute

OFW Law and the Food Institute will host a special four-part virtual seminar Feb. 16-17, 2022 on some of the top legal and regulatory issues facing food and beverage companies.     Click to Register  Early Bird and Group Discounts Available!   Day 1 – The Agenda:   Session 1: Latest FDA Developments on “Healthy” …

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Modernization of Principles for Food Standards of Identity (SOI) – In a Long-Line of What Needs to be Done, “French Dressing” SOI Revoked

Modernizing Food Standards of Identity (SOI) has been on United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) radar for the last 20 years, but there has been very little movement on the subject until this past year.  On Wednesday, FDA announced that it is revoking the Standard of Identity (SOI) for French Dressing, which is the …

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Trademark Modernization Act Took Effect December 18, 2021

On December 18, 2021, regulations implementing the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”) went into effect. By amending the Trademark Act of 1946 (Lanham Act), individuals, businesses, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now have new tools at their disposal to clear unused trademarks and service marks (hereinafter “marks”) from the Principal/Supplemental …

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The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Is Now in Effect

As of January 1, 2022, foods that are deemed “bioengineered” must be accompanied by labels disclosing that the food is bioengineered or contains a bioengineered ingredient. This disclosure requirement is the culmination of a decades-long battle and a legislative compromise over what has been commonly known as “GMO labeling.” After multiple unsuccessful West Coast ballot …

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December Food and Agriculture Regulatory Recap

OFW’s Food & Agriculture team regularly monitors announcements and policy issuances from FDA, USDA, and other agencies to keep our clients apprised of regulatory developments that may impact their business. Here are a few of the developments from December that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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FTC Issues Orders to Major Retailers, Wholesalers, and Product Suppliers Regarding Supply Chain Disruptions

On November 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers to provide “detailed information” to the FTC.  The FTC explains that it is seeking this information to “shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these disruptions are causing serious and ongoing hardships …

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USTR/USDA Holds Open Meeting to Discuss China Decrees 248 and 249

On Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) held an informal informational meeting on the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China’s (GACC) Decrees 248 and 249 affecting U.S. agricultural exports. The Decrees, which were published in 2019, set out new …

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The Potential Time Bomb of African Swine Fever

OFW Law’s John Dillard is a frequent contributor to Farm Journal, the premiere U.S. farm magazine. His latest contribution covers African Swine Fever. African swine fever (ASF) is a nasty bug and it’s getting closer to the U.S. The highly contagious viral infection doesn’t infect humans, but it is 100% fatal to hogs.  Countries where …

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UPDATE: Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

Federal Contractors are being given additional time and flexibility to address the vaccination mandate – Employees must be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022.   The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Contracting Officers Have Enormous Discretion To Add Vaccine Mandate Clause to Product Contracts.   …

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October Food and Agriculture Regulatory Recap

OFW’s Food & Agriculture team regularly monitors announcements and policy issuances from FDA, USDA, and other agencies to keep our clients apprised of regulatory developments that may impact their business. Here are a few of the developments from October that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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USDA FSIS to Chart New Path on Salmonella Control in Poultry

On October 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it will be undertaking a new approach to regulating Salmonella in poultry (i.e., turkey and chicken). In the coming months, FSIS will begin a series of roundtables to gather information and recommendations on how to meet the …

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The FOREST Act of 2021 – Senate Bill Prohibiting the Importation of Products Produced on Land Undergoing Illegal Deforestation

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced today the introduction of the “Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade Act of 2021” (“FOREST Act”). The text of the FOREST Act is available here.  The FOREST Act addresses the environmental and human consequences of illegal deforestation. The addition to the Tariff Act …

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Good News for SNAP Retailers: FNS Increases SNAP Benefits for Fiscal Year 2022

The beginning of the new federal fiscal year on October 1 brought welcome news to 45 million SNAP beneficiaries across the country and to more than 250,000 grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers authorized to redeem SNAP benefits.  On October 1, 2021, average SNAP benefits increased by $35.24 per person, per month.  USDA’s Food …

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OFW Law to co-host the 2021 Food Labeling Summit with the Food Institute next month

Next month, The Food Institute kicks off its 3-day virtual training seminar on Food Labeling and Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC will be co-hosting the event. Each day has its own unique theme. On day one, attendees may expect to first learn the basics of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and the U.S. …

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USDA-FSIS Announces Updated Guidance for Controlling Pathogens in Beef and Poultry Operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has recently updated several of its guidance documents addressing the control of pathogens in beef and poultry operations. These guidelines provide best practices for establishments on managing pathogens during pre-harvest, slaughter, chilling, storage, and processing. FSIS’ guidance is focused on assisting small and very …

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FTC to Issue Final Rule to Combat “Made in USA” Fraud

On July 1st, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to publish the final Made in USA Labeling Rule in the Federal Register.  The rule is consistent with – and essentially codifies – its prior 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, and provides the agency with enforcement tools to combat fraudulent claims.   The rule …

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USDA to Provide Overtime Fee Relief to Small and Very-Small Establishments

One of the major complaints of smaller meat and poultry establishments is the cost of USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) overtime and holiday inspection services. Meat and poultry establishments that are subject to mandatory inspection receive FSIS inspection services free of charge for each 8-hour shift the plant normally operates. Many plants only …

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Oh, SNAP! FNS Finally Issues 2020 SNAP Retailer Summary

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has oversight over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The agency’s responsibilities including the licensing of supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail food stores as authorized SNAP vendors. FNS publishes annual data compilations regarding SNAP redemptions and enforcement proceedings in connection with the more than 250,000 retailers …

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chicken breasts being cut

CSPI petitions FSIS to implement enforceable Salmonella controls, supply chain requirements

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – FSIS Practice Group, authored the following article on a recent citizen’s petition to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The article appears in The National Provisioner’s March issue. On Jan. 25, 2021, a coalition of food safety activist groups and individuals led by Center …

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Carbon Labeling: Who is Ahead of the Game?

With climate change discussions being elevated on a local, regional, and global scale, many individuals are considering how their personal choices, including foods they consume, impact the environment. This has translated to a resurgence of interest in carbon labeling food products. Now that we understand the basics of carbon labeling and what it means for …

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How Does Buying American Benefit U.S. Food, Agriculture, and Medical Products?

President Biden recently issued an Executive Order (EO) to harness the federal government’s purchasing power to bolster domestic manufacturing. The “Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers” intends to support American industry and American workers. Overall, this EO looks to close loopholes in existing “Buy American” policies …

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Food drive called "Stamp Out Hunger"

Oh, SNAP! SNAP Retailers Need to Watch Out for New FNS Entrapment Techniques

For decades, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has attempted to combat fraud by retailers and beneficiaries in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with varying success.  Fraud levels were dramatically reduced after FNS rolled out the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system and discontinued the use of paper food stamps more than fifteen years ago.  …

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employees cutting meat at a processing facility

CDC to Host Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccination for Food and Agriculture Workers – January 21st

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a webinar to provide updates on COVID-19 vaccine implementation for food and agriculture workers on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 3:00 PM Eastern. The webinar will also discuss vaccine safety and confidence as well as recommendations for vaccine prioritization. The panelists for the webinar …

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NIAA: What to Expect for Animal Agriculture in a Biden Administration

The National Institute of Animal Agriculture invited Chelsea Good, Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs at Livestock Marketing Association and John Dillard, Principal Attorney in the USDA Practice Group at OFW Law to provide insight on the incoming Biden Administration and what it will mean for the animal agriculture industry. From the Barn to …

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woman smelling fruit at a local market

Ring in the New Year with the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines

Just in time to ring in the new year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services introduced the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The first Dietary Guidelines for Americans were published in 1980 and have been updated every 5 years, making this the 9th edition. The …

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Regulatory Roundup: USDA Secretary, Vaccines for Meat and Poultry Line Workers, and NPIS’s Line Speed Proposal

There have been several recent events of note that will impact meat and poultry producers and processors. The recent election of President-elect Biden means there will be new leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). President-elect Biden will also have the opportunity to appoint new leadership for the USDA Office of Food Safety. In …

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Oh, SNAP! Federal Judge Holds 30 Day SNAP Retailer Judicial Review Deadline Is Not Jurisdictional

In a decision of importance to convenience stores, grocers, and other retailers, a California District Court judge held that the 30-day period for seeking judicial review of an adverse decision by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in SNAP retailer licensing proceedings is not jurisdictional.  While the issue of whether Congress intended for limitations periods …

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Oh, SNAP! FNS Issues Final Rule That Discriminates Against Minority Retailers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been frequently referred to as “The Last Plantation,” based on what has been described as a “deeply ingrained culture of racism that manifested itself in both the way its programs were administered—and whom it hired, and didn’t, to administer those programs.”  Despite sincere efforts during recent years …

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2020 Food Labeling Seminar Hosted by OFW and The Food Institute

OFW and The Food Institute will be holding their annual Food Labeling Seminar on October 7, 8, and 9. The virtual training course will cover everything you need to know about food labeling in today’s marketplace. This seminar will review the basics of FDA’s and USDA’s food labeling requirements, including recent updates. It will review …

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Food and Drug Administration building

FDA Guidance: Enforcement Discretion Under the Qualified Exemption Provisions of the Produce Safety Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published an announcement of the availability of a Guidance Document, Temporary Policy During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Regarding the Qualified Exemption from the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (May 2020). Comments on the Guidance may be submitted to the …

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