Food Manufacturing, Processing, and Marketing

SEC Stock Promotion Scheme Charges Against the Cannabis Industry

In October, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it would be charging two (2) cannabis companies, Emerald Health and HighTimes, and six (6) associated individuals who worked with the companies, for their involvement in “stock promotion schemes.”   Stock promotion schemes are “fraudulent schemes to promote the securities of issuers that were …

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FDA’s Nutrition Initiatives: FDA’s Proposed Rule to Update the Definition of “Healthy”

As mentioned in September’s Regulatory Recap, last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule on the “Definition of the Term ‘Healthy’” nutrient content claims. FDA updated its Nutrition Initiatives, and issued the proposed rule, to more closely align with the HHS and USDA’s 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrition facts labels, …

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August 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 August that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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July 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 July that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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Summary of Senate’s Hearing “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms”

On July 26, 2022, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Terrorism held a hearing on “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms.” The hearing largely addressed the recently introduced S. 4591, “Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act” (the “CAOA”). The witnesses included: Malik Burnett, Medical Director, Maryland Department …

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CAOA Filed in the Senate

On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Cory Booker (D-NJ), and more officially filed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) (S.4591) to legalize cannabis nationwide. OFW has prepared material on this bill and will be monitoring supplementary announcements and hearings for more information. Please note that OFW has provided other posts on key areas of interest in …

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USDA Publishes Annual Summary of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Investigated During FY2021

As of July 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS or the agency) has made publicly available the agency’s annual summary of foodborne illness outbreaks investigated last year (i.e., FY2021). The summary reports on all outbreaks that were investigated by FSIS during FY2021 and includes the following key …

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June 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 June that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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As Operational Guidance Becomes Available; The Uyghur Forced Labor Act Goes Into Effect

The  “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act” (the UFLPA) went into effect this past Tuesday, June 21, 2022. The UFLPA creates a rebuttable presumption that “any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, manufactured wholly or in part” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur Region) of China are produced with forced labor and therefore are …

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Resources for Human and Animal Food Producers Affected by Severe Weather Incidents

On June 6, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it released an online page providing both federal and state resources and contacts available for human and animal food producers who may be “harvesting, mixing, storing, or distributing grains and other foods” prior to and after experiencing a severe or inclement weather event …

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April 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 April that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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Federal Cannabis Legalization & Regulation: A Timely Discussion of The Mace States Reform Act

Background By the end of 2021, ninety-one percent of Americans reported favoring some form of marijuana legalization. To date, eighteen (18) states and Washington, DC, have legalized adult recreational use of marijuana, and thirty-seven (37) states and four (4) territories have medical use programs. More states will likely be expanding access to marijuana with ballot …

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March 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 March that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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February 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 February that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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Declaration of a National Emergency Extended; Important Beyond Protecting the Public from the Risks of COVID-19

On February 23, 2022, the Administration published in the Federal Register a Notice of “Continuation of the National Emergency Concerning Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic” to extend the national emergency declaration from  March 13, 2020.  The 2020 Declaration was due to expire on March 1, 2022 and, with this Administrative Order, the national emergency continues, …

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Infant Formula Recall Triggers Concerns for WIC Beneficiaries

On February 17, 2022, following consumer complaints relating to the presence of pathogens in Similac, Alimentu, and EleCare, Abbott issued a voluntary recall for certain lots of those powdered infant formula products. Abbott’s recall is broad, applies to all distribution levels (domestic and international), and includes all lots manufactured in its Sturgis, Michigan facility with …

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USDA Announces Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture Projects

On Monday, February 7, 2022, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered an announcement that USDA would invest“$1 billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America.” Titled “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities,” USDA has committed to finance projects that expand the market for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use “climate-smart …

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Farmers and Ranchers Can Now Access Online Reporting Portal to Report Potentially Unfair and Anticompetitive Practices

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an online reporting portal, located at USDA’s Farmer Fairness website, to advance the goals of the “Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain” (the Action Plan).   By way of review, …

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January 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 January that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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“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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