Keller and Heckman Partner Devon Hill Discusses 2016 Regulatory Outlook in Food Chemical News

Date: Jan 28, 2016

Keller and Heckman Partner Devon Hill was quoted extensively in the Food Chemical News (FCN) January 15, 2016, article, titled, “Regulatory Outlook 2016: Packaging sector contends with FSMA and food additive petitions in 2016.” He discussed the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on the food packaging industry, especially the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) rule. He also predicted that we will see more food additive petitions from nongovernment organizations seeking to delist certain food additives and food-contact materials

Mr. Hill noted in the article that that while the food packaging industry is exempt from most parts of the FSMA preventative controls rule, it is not exempt from the FSVP rule. He explained that packaging companies were included in the rule late in the process, adding, “If you read the rule, it doesn’t discuss food packaging at all, and it’s very unclear how we’re supposed to implement the rule as food packaging producers.”

Representatives of the food packaging industry will meet with FDA in the coming weeks to understand how to comply with the FSVP rule, and could possible challenge the new rules, Mr. Hill told FCN. He suggested that the food packaging industry may be able to reach a compromise with FDA, but that complying with the rule will be an onerous burden for the industry. FSMA is also causing food companies to scrutinize their supply chains more carefully and “they’re putting more demands on their suppliers including food packaging materials suppliers for more customer assurance materials,” Mr. Hill cautioned.

Turning to California’s Proposition 65 and other state regulations, Mr. Hill noted that while fewer states enacted new chemical bans in 2015 than in previous years, more states expanded polystyrene bans last year. He predicted that these will remain on the radar in 2016. He also discussed the proposed new Proposition 65 labeling changes that would require the listing of specific chemicals in the required warnings.