Photo of Steve Steinborn

Partner, Washington, D.C.

Steven Steinborn literally wrote the book on food labeling as a principal author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) labeling guide. On top of that, he offers clients 28 years of experience in guiding informed business decisions, taking into account food laws and other regulations, as well as the environment in which companies operate. Representing food processors, restaurant chains, foodservice operators, ingredient suppliers, and trade associations, Steven focuses on advertising, labeling, and food safety. He is also a strong advocate in enforcement matters brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the USDA, and state regulators as well.

From small start-ups to established international brands, Steven understands the dynamics of the food industry. He brings this knowledge to bear on cutting-edge issues ranging from claim substantiation to potential food safety situations. He is also regularly consulted in bringing and defending competitor challenges, and represents companies before the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division. Keenly aware of the current litigation climate, Steven works closely with marketers in exploring all avenues to reach important business objectives.

Beyond the food industry, Steven routinely advises consumer product companies on reporting and potential recall situations arising under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. His practice covers a diverse range of industries, including children's toys, household appliances, infant products, gas grills, furnaces, consumer electronics, computers, printers, handheld devices, and child-resistant packaging.

Steven is a frequent speaker on innovation and legal compliance and has authored numerous articles on a range of subjects, from the latest developments in the regulation of genetically engineered foods to important developments that impact food advertising.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recently released its competed Scientific Advisory Report, which will serve as the basis of the recommendations in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is due to be released by December 2020. This memorandum summarizes several of the major takeaways from the DGAC’s Scientific

A recent action by the National Advertising Division (NAD), a self-regulatory arm of the Better Business Bureau, addresses the level of proof necessary to support “natural” and “satiety” claims involving competing experts and a variety of scientific data in dispute. The Proctor & Gamble Company (P&G) successfully challenged three claims made by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare,

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on 22 June 2020 voted to adopt regulations codifying its long-standing Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims (Policy Statement). The proposed regulations come after the FTC staff held a workshop in September 2019 to discuss “Made in USA” (MUSA) claims and whether there was a need to update the

There are numerous regulatory and practical issues borne out of COVID-19 that are facing the food industry, many of which are increasingly playing out at the state level. As states grapple with so-called “re-opening” of retail establishments, including restaurants and foodservice operators (including retailers offering ready-to-eat foods), some noteworthy trends and insight into requirements and

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two resources for retail food establishments that are reopening after closing or partially closing in response to COVID-19. The resources include a Food Safety Checklist with considerations for retail food establishments when restarting or resuming operations and an infographic identifying best practices for reopening during the

The National Advertising Division (NAD), a self-regulatory arm of the Better Business Bureau, recently announced that a new “Fast Track” challenge process is now available to members of the advertising industry. The SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) process aims to adapt to the new speed at which claims come and go in the marketplace

On social media and other digital advertising platforms, proper disclosure of material interests between an endorser and the product manufacturer is critical to inform consumers and avoid alleged deceptive advertising practices. The comment deadline for Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent request for public comment to inform planned revisions to its Guides Concerning the Use of

This post summarizes recent actions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. First, FDA has issued a temporary policy to provide flexibility to chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments currently required to provide nutrition information on menus and menu boards. In light of the need for

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the CARES Act.  This is the third phase of federal legislation in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The estimated $2 trillion package cuts across nearly every segment of the economy, widely affecting companies and consumers alike, and