The House of Representatives voted today to approve compromise legislation sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) that will preempt the Vermont and other state labeling laws relating to genetically engineered (GE) foods. The bill creates a national, uniform disclosure standard for GE foods that will consist of a text, symbol, or digital or electronic link. It now awaits President Obama’s signature before becoming law. Passage of the law marks a major victory for industry, but the GE labeling issue will remain active for many years to come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to implement the disclosure standard in the next two years. We expect that USDA will aim to issue its final rule by July 2018, with additional time for companies to come into compliance with that disclosure standard.

In this post we summarize the key components of the disclosure standard and the bill’s likely effect on state labeling laws.

Click here to read more.

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Photo of Martin Hahn Martin Hahn

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Martin Hahn uses his background in food technology and his comprehensive understanding of the laws governing the food industry to navigate clients through the myriad regulatory and business issues impacting the industry from farm to table. He recognizes the demands…

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Martin Hahn uses his background in food technology and his comprehensive understanding of the laws governing the food industry to navigate clients through the myriad regulatory and business issues impacting the industry from farm to table. He recognizes the demands placed on his clients and finds innovative and creative solutions, particularly when responding to observations raised by regulators  during inspections. Whether the issue involves obtaining the authorization of a new food or dietary ingredient, complying with manufacturing requirements, labeling or advertising, product recalls, or enforcement, Martin serves as an effective advisor and advocate.

Martin’s career has touched on almost every issue impacting the food industry. He has a comprehensive understanding of the laws affecting the labeling and advertising of foods, dietary supplements, infant formulas, medical foods, and foods for special dietary use. He helps clients anticipate new trends and develop the data that is needed to distinguish their products from others on the market. With his understanding of science and technology in the food industry, Martin provides assistance in obtaining regulatory authorizations to market new food ingredients, food packaging materials, and dietary ingredients. He also assists clients in responding to proposed regulations and draft guidance, as well as, tracks and keeps his clients apprised of the latest trends in class action law suits and helps clients anticipate new regulatory initiatives.

Martin grew up on a farm and worked in food processing plants before going to law school. His hands-on experience in the field and degree in food technology allow him to better understand the challenges his clients face in complying with the laws impacting food manufacturing. He understands Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Photo of Veronica Colas Veronica Colas

Senior Associate, Washington, D.C.

Veronica Colas counsels clients on the regulations and policy issues affecting food companies from farm to table. She represents all segments of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and food service companies, as well as their trade associations.…

Senior Associate, Washington, D.C.

Veronica Colas counsels clients on the regulations and policy issues affecting food companies from farm to table. She represents all segments of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and food service companies, as well as their trade associations.
Veronica provides clear advice and practical solutions for compliance with labeling, advertising, and safety regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A core part of Veronica’s practice is helping clients develop new products, label claims, advertising materials, and promotional campaigns, with a keen awareness of today’s litigation environment. She has a deep understanding of both current and forthcoming food labeling and production requirements, from nutrition and menu labeling, to the regulatory issues surrounding genetically engineered foods and organic food production.

Veronica also has significant experience in helping clients navigate regulatory enforcement challenges, such as Warning Letters, import detentions, and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Congress, and state Attorneys General. She works closely with trade associations and food companies to craft comments and develop strategies in response to agency rulemaking and other public policy issues. She is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications.

Photo of Leigh Barcham Leigh Barcham

Senior Associate, Washington, D.C.

Leigh Barcham provides business-oriented legal and policy solutions to food and agriculture companies and trade associations. She advises clients on state and federal regulatory issues that may arise throughout the entire food production line from farm to table. Leigh…

Senior Associate, Washington, D.C.

Leigh Barcham provides business-oriented legal and policy solutions to food and agriculture companies and trade associations. She advises clients on state and federal regulatory issues that may arise throughout the entire food production line from farm to table. Leigh also guides clients in consumer products industries as they navigate federal advertising laws and regulations.
When she joined Hogan Lovells, Leigh brought with her more than five years of public policy experience. A part-time student by night and a law clerk by day, Leigh worked throughout law school at a firm in Washington, D.C., focusing on legislation and federal regulation affecting the energy industry. Before law school she served as a policy analyst for international affairs and climate change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.