The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will not begin inspecting food facilities until March 2020 to verify compliance with the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration regulations at 21 C.F.R. part 121, also known as the Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule. FDA has determined this additional time is

Recombinant bovine somatotropin (RBST) is an artificial growth hormone fed to cattle for the purpose of increasing their production of milk. The FDA has twice found that RBST is safe and effective for its intended uses and that the milk produced by such cattle is not significantly different from milk produced by untreated cattle.  The

On June 13, Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness industry team presented a seminar in Denver, CO spotlighting industry finance and investment trends and regulatory developments. More than 50 professionals attended the seminar, representing ag processing, food distribution, ag production and industry-focused lenders and investors. The morning started off with Jim Ash, Husch Blackwell’s Food & Agribusiness industry team leader, moderating a panel focused on industry trends. The panelists included –

The panel discussion kicked off by discussing the current consumer trends and whether or not the current trends are considered sustainable. The panel agreed the importance of food safety is top of mind with consumers and food company executives alike. Healthy alternatives, convenience and transparency in labeling were also noted as important to consumers. Consumer demand for new products with unique flavorings is resulting in small, nimble companies being rewarded. An example of this is the growth in the craft beer industry.

The panel turned their attention to consolidation within the industry. The panelists agreed the mega-deals would likely continue over the next 18-24 months, but smaller deals at the other end of the spectrum would also continue, highlighting the importance of companies being nimble and responsive to the market. For smaller companies within the industry, 75% of the deals were for strategic reasons compared to an average across all industries of 50%. Technology advances and the need for innovation were also mentioned as driving consolidation. European companies are looking to North America for investment because of perceived opportunity.

Commodity pricing and the impact on the industry was discussed next. Over the long-term the prices for commodities are expected to rise, however in the short-term there will be continued downward pressure until there is a significant correction, which will likely be driven by a weather event. Pricing is driven by supply and demand and in the short-term there is an excess supply; however, long-term commodity demand will be driven by rising world-wide socio-economic status increasing demand for protein, which is a more inefficiently produced food source. The current excess supply is the result of technology advances resulting in improved yields and the absence of a significant weather event over the past several years.
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We had previously posted on the Decosters’ petition for certiorari to review a prison sentence imposed upon them as responsible executives for food contamination at Quality Egg, even though they were unaware of the contamination in their product.  On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court denied the petition.

Earlier this week, the FDA published three anticipated waivers to the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule. The waivers may be of interest to certain shippers, carriers, and receivers of Grade “A” milk and milk products, food establishments that transport food, and businesses that transport molluscan shellfish.

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On January 4th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two Federal Register notices (available here and here) announcing the availability of two long-awaited draft guidance documents.  The first draft guidance document, Questions and Answers on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels Related to the Compliance Date, Added Sugars, and Declaration

Food manufactures facing deceptive food labeling claims under the Missouri consumer fraud statute were recently dealt a setback by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri. On November 8, 2016, the appellate court issued an opinion in Murphy v. Stonewall Kitchen, LLC, reversing the trial court’s adoption of the so-called