McDermott’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team comprises leading regulatory lawyers who advise on the regulation, licensing, distribution, labeling, current Good Manufacturing Practices, e-commerce, advertising, false claims and marketing of food and beverage products, as well as their related inputs.
We regularly represent clients and trade groups in preparing and submitting comments to agencies on emerging regulatory issues. For example, the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act has ushered in a new wave of regulatory proposals and challenges for those involved in the production, storage and distribution of foods. These proposals will significantly change the manner in which many companies in this space will operate in order to remain in accord with the law’s requirements.
We assist growers, processors and distributors in developing food safety and quality control programs that help them meet the regulatory requirements of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Food and Nutrition Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Foreign Agricultural Service. Our alcohol regulatory and distribution team is active at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the FTC, and is involved with the control authorities in almost every US state.
As the pace of regulatory and law enforcement efforts by the FDA and USDA has increased, we have represented numerous companies in handling a range of enforcement actions. When regulatory investigations or product recalls arise, we provide comprehensive crisis management assistance and advise in connection with related proceedings.
Our experienced Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) team also advises industry clients on compliance issues and the full range of enforcement actions. We have pioneered approaches that have shaped existing policies and have successfully handled many of the largest OSHA enforcement actions.
Secured from the FDA the first approval ever issued for the laser-etching of fruit for food traceback, including development of a testing program to convince the FDA of the safety and utility of such process
Defended one of the largest agricultural chemical enforcement cases initiated by the EPA and the DOJ
Secured EPA approval of a new agricultural product to address plant pest problems
Secured expedited EPA and USDA approval for the use of the agrochemical required to treat and import Australian cottonseed to the United States, as well as establishing the associated chemical tolerances consistent with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended, and Plant Protection Act requirements
Pursued the interests of numerous clients on the FDA’s oversight and enforcement approach to food ingredient issues, food safety, recalls and implementation of the FSMA requirements, and dietary supplement regulations and requirements
Advised a trade organization in ongoing issues related to the regulation of ammonium nitrate with the US Department of Homeland Security, including assisting in crafting the legislation that ultimately was approved by Congress, and assisting the client in working with Homeland Security to develop implementing regulations
Counseled a US brewer on the food safety status of ingredients, processing aids and food contact substances used in the production and packaging of the company’s beer products
Advised an international spirits company on all aspects of intellectual property, advertising law and regulatory compliance for brand-related websites, multimedia marketing campaigns and brand promotions
Represented various companies in the alcohol industry with securing label approvals from TTB for many cutting-edge alcohol beverage products
Counseled various clients in drafting comments on numerous recent federal rulemakings, including those on nutritional and ingredient labeling, use of the word “pure” in distilled spirit labeling and advertising, flavored malt beverages, organic labeling, health claims and health-related statements in labeling and advertising, changes to the mandatory government warning statement, other-than-standard wines, “plain language” malt beverage regulations, and aggregate and misleading packaging