Food & Drug

Keller and Heckman’s European Food Practice represents and provides legal advice to food and beverage clients, including trade associations, on a comprehensive array of legal and regulatory issues. We promote, protect and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated under national, international and EU food law, routinely advising the world’s largest and most prestigious food manufacturing and food processing conglomerates.

Keller and Heckman’s European Food Practice’s expertise includes:

Legal Compliance

National and European compliance issues are having an increasing impact on corporates globally. Keller and Heckman’s European Food Practice provides general company and compliance advice to corporate clients on the legal issues which most regularly impact their businesses. 

We help our clients navigate the maze of sector-specific legislation and regulations, relevant listing, implementation, enforcement and clearance rules on:

  • Food additives
  • Food flavorings
  • Food processing aids
  • Novel foods and novel food ingredients
  • Infant and newborn nutrition
  • Food labeling
  • Food supplements
  • Fortified foods
  • Dietetic foods
  • Foodstuff hygiene
  • Food irradiation
  • Food contaminants and pesticide residues
  • Nutrition and health claims and the applicable clearance procedures
  • Vitamins, minerals and other added substances in food and food supplements
  • Food ingredients and botanicals (e.g. in relation to borderline situations with medicines and cosmetic legislation)
  • Feed additives, feed materials and compound feedstuffs
  • GMOs and products derived from GMOs (use, marketing and labeling)
  • Organic foods
  • Food safety testing, toxicology and carcinogenicity testing
  • Tests for contaminants and pesticide residues

Export & International Trade

Getting Goods to Market (Pre-Market and Goods-to-Market Issues)

International trade - within and without the territory of the EU - is vital to our clients’ business. Keller and Heckman European Food Practice helps clients get to market their products in the (member states of the) European Union. We assist our clients in minimizing and resolving trade barrier issues by:

  • Assessing the need to obtain regulatory approvals at the EU and/or national level for foods or ingredients;
  • Advising on the practical application of the principle of mutual recognition; and
  • Preparing and submitting applications or notifications to obtain regulatory clearance or amending conditions (e.g. for food additives, flavourings, supplements, novel foods, etc.).

Product Liability, Product Defense & Litigation

Product Liability

The rapid globalisation of trade and complex supply chains in the food industry means that our clients, wherever they are in the supply chain (manufacturer, supplier or distributor), need to pay ever increasing attention to managing food product safety and liability issues.

Managing these issues requires a broad international, legal and commercial approach with a strong focus on fast responses and practical solutions.

Keller and Heckman’s European Food Practice provides strategic advice and commercial assistance to all food and beverage clients in the supply chain, for instance by:

  • Assisting on responses to consumer complaints;
  • Assisting with withdrawal and recall requirements and procedures (including these under the framework of EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), communication with governmental and non-governmental authorities, and reputational damage issues; and
  • Advising on product liability issues relating to breach of contract, limitation of liability and indemnity issues.

Product Defense and Food Litigation

Thanks to its team of in-house scientists, regulatory attorneys, and technical specialists Keller and Heckman's European Food Practice is uniquely positioned to represent companies in product liability litigation in European and National Court, as well as before European and national institutions.

Keller and Heckman’s European food practice is widely recognized for its commitment to defend its clients against product liability claims, advertising complaints, enforcement actions and prosecutions, competitor’ challenges, and the conduct of “due diligence” audits of products’ composition and labelling.

Governmental Affairs

Keller and Heckman’s European food practice recognizes that interaction with European and national governmental and non-governmental bodies is integral to an effective global business strategy.

Keller and Heckman’s European food practice combines legislative and political experience and assists clients inter alia in:

  • Retaining market access where changes in legislation impact product portfolios;
  • Monitoring legislation and policies affecting the regulation of foods; and
  • Providing strategic analysis of relevant laws and treaties.

For information on Keller and Heckman’s global Food and Drug Practice click here.