Clients involved in the food industry including human and pet foods, dietary supplements (including cannabis and hemp products) and hard and soft beverages operate in a highly regulated and competitive environment.
Challenges can exist for all players along the supply chain from manufacturers and suppliers, to distributors, restaurants, and foodservice operators. New products can struggle to reach the market, and expensive litigation or regulatory challenges can have long-term damaging effects on business.
McGrath North focuses on this important client group by providing a full range of special services, including advice regarding pre-market regulatory issues, food labeling and advertising, facilities operation, and ingredients management for pathogen controls within federal guidelines, and on policy matters. Our attorneys have extensive experience and contacts in the federal government, including the USDA and FDA, and have successfully petitioned these agencies for regulatory change on multi-million dollar matters for major national brands.
In addition to specializing in developing strategies for food safety prevention issues and product premarket strategies, our attorneys have successfully guided firms through the food recall process, including managing government and media matters, and developing tactical damage control to minimize loss of sales. When necessary, our team can also draw on McGrath North’s sophisticated litigation expertise to manage consumer and competitor litigation, as well as disputes all along the supply chain.
In order to increase the efficacy of our advice, and our litigation effectiveness, our team focuses on day-one readiness as to new regulations and policies as they are rolled out, and on evolving scientific and medical issues related to food and supplement safety and nutrition. Our attorneys have developed professional relationships with consumer advocates to ensure a smooth exchange of ideas and to minimize conflict.
We also have extensive experience negotiating complex commercial agreements along the supply chain, advising on the full spectrum of business matters such as corporate formation and structuring, intellectual property rights, employment and data privacy, representing buyers and sellers in M&A, private equity and joint venture transactions. It is this comprehensive experience, combined with our understanding of our clients’ individual businesses, needs and goals, that make McGrath North a trusted advisor to our clients ranging from start-up and early stage manufacturers to publicly traded food companies.
Industry Experience: New product launches, petitioning for regulatory change, FDA and USDA inspections, recalls and withdrawals, corrective actions, import detentions, product seizures, adverse event reports, injunctions, criminal prosecutions by regulatory agencies, advertising compliance, due diligence on food-related acquisitions or divestitures, sales and distribution agreements, import and export issues, consumer relations and protection issues, and food recall insurance matters.
- Worked with FDA on numerous occasions over the last 25 years to help draft regulations that made practical sense for the industry and assisted our clients in marketing new products.
- Successfully petitioned for change of the regulatory definition of “healthy” in order to help keep a multi-million-dollar brand on the market, and at the same time assuring a supply of good-for-you products available for consumers.
- Managed one of the largest beef recalls in US history without a single plant closing, lost day of business or regulatory consequence.
- Convinced FDA to allow the marketing of “low fat ice cream” by successfully challenging the then current definition of “ice cream”.
- Prevented numerous product recalls by providing up front labeling and/or advertising advice.
- Assisted several clients in bringing new dietary supplement and/or food products to market, including agency approvals, importation issues, labeling, and advertising compliance advice.