Effective July 7, 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Analysis (OEHHA) has listed glyphosate as a carcinogenic chemical under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (also known as Proposition 65).  Glyphosate is one of the most heavily used weed control chemicals in food and agricultural production. It is reported that each year more than 300 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides are sprayed on food crops, lawns and home gardens in the U.S. We summarize the key issues presented by the listing of glyphosate for the food industry.

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Photo of Gary Kushner Gary Kushner

Partner, Washington, DC

Gary Jay Kushner knows the food industry inside and out as he has been a part of it for almost 40 years. His clients are some of the largest food corporations in the world as well as their trade associations. Because of his extensive exposure to the industry at all levels, Gary approaches his clients’ challenges from the perspective of a food industry executive.
Gary has participated in the development of virtually every law and regulation affecting the food industry in the last four decades. Gary analyzes legislation considered by the U.S. Congress and state legislatures and regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and other federal and state government agencies, and evaluates their impact on the food industry from farm to table. His insight allows him to anticipate how these initiatives might change the way his clients do business so they can plan most effectively.

Gary also helps companies address regulatory compliance issues, advising them on labeling, advertising, inspection, and representing them in enforcement proceedings before government agencies and the courts.

Previously, Gary served as vice president and general counsel for the American Meat Institute where he directed the organization’s legal, regulatory, and legislative activities. He began his food industry career as staff counsel for Scientific Affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, and began his legal career as law clerk to the Honorable John R. Hess in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Photo of Xin Tao Xin Tao

Senior Associate, Washington, DC

With a working knowledge of regulatory requirements and a strong understanding of life science, Xin Tao works closely with clients in the food and drug industry to navigate the evolving federal and state regulatory environments and develop innovative regulatory strategies to commercialize products made with emerging technologies.  Xin’s background in life science (biochemistry and biophysics) assists him in his science-based food and drug law practices. Xin advises clients on food and drug law with a particular focus on novel food and dietary ingredients, biotechnology, FDA cGMP compliance, ingredient labeling, and California’s Proposition 65.  Xin’s unique ability in understanding and interpreting the complex scientific issues as they relate to the governing regulatory requirements helps clients with all phases of the product development, manufacturing, and marketing.  He is also increasingly expanding his expertise of USDA’s organic regulatory regime as it pertains to his clients.

Xin has helped numerous food, dietary supplement, and pharmaceutical companies evaluate the need for marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He also pursues clearance or pre-market approval (e.g., food additive petition, GRAS notice, NDI notification) when necessary and responds to FDA enforcement activities including Warning Letters and Import Alerts. Xin has advised numerous companies on issues relating to the advertising and promoting of products including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s claim substantiation standards . Xin also has vast experience with FDA and USDA due diligence investigations for companies subject to takeover or merger activity.

Xin is very actively involved in a number of organizations that serve Chinese legal and life science professionals in the Washington region, including the Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association and Washington DC Chinese Legal Association.  Xin is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications both in the U.S. and China.  He is adept at assisting both Chinese food and drug companies doing business in the U.S. and U.S. clients doing business in China.

During law school, Xin worked as a regulatory food scientist and also served as an executive editor of the Georgetown Environmental Law Review.