FDA, USDA, and EPA, all have a hand in the regulation of food. During this session, you will hear from former agency officials about which agency generally has the lead in handles which regulatory tasks, the interplay between these agencies, as well as insight on how to navigate working with a variety of agencies. The webinar will provide ample time for Q&A, so bring your questions and ask the experts!

Keith Matthews, Of Counsel, Wiley Rein LLP
Jessica O’Connell, Special Counsel, Covington & Burling, LLP
Brian Ronholm, Senior Director of Regulatory Policy, Arent Fox LLP

Moderated by Riëtte van Laack, Director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, PC

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Speaker Biographies

KEITH MATTHEWS is of Counsel at Wiley Rein LLP.  Keith builds on 20 years of private sector and government experience in environmental law related to chemical substances regulation, biopesticides, and genetically engineered organisms. He is a former Director of the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). His practice focuses on the regulation of agricultural chemical products, including biotechnology products regulated by EPA and the US Department of Agriculture. Keith counsels and advises his clients using his breadth of knowledge on a variety of statutes, including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and the Endangered Species Act.

JESSICA O’CONNELL is Special Counsel in Covington & Burling’s Food and Drug practice group in Washington, DC. She advises companies and trade associations on complying with US regulatory requirements enforced by FDA, USDA, FTC, and state regulators for the manufacture and sale of foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, OTC drugs, and animal products, and the import and export of all FDA and USDA-regulated products. Before joining Covington, she was an Associate Chief Counsel in FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel from 2008 to 2014.  While at FDA, Jessica counseled various components of FDA and HHS on legal issues primarily related to foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.  Jessica received a bachelor’s degree in biology and physics from University of Virginia, an MPH from Johns Hopkins, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

BRIAN RONHOLM serves as the Senior Director of Regulatory Policy in Arent Fox’s Food, Drug, Medical Device, and Agriculture group, leveraging his experience as the former Deputy Under Secretary of Food Safety at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Brian specializes in food safety regulation and policy, and provides clients with strategic advice on navigating regulatory and legislative challenges in the food and agriculture space.

RIETTE van LAACK is a director at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara PC.  Ms. van Laack provides regulatory counsel on foods and dietary supplements, OTC drugs, cosmetics, and animal feed and drugs on a range of FDA, USDA, FTC, and CPSC issues. With advanced degrees in nutrition and meat science and more than 15 years as a food science and technology researcher, Ms. van Laack possesses specialized knowledge of the scientific aspects of products under review.  Ms. van Laack has substantial experience with food and dietary supplement issues, labeling and advertising issues that arise from the use of health, nutrient content, structure/function, and disease claims. She counsels clients regarding GMP and HACCP compliance issues, Reportable Food Registry issues, and responses to warning letters. Ms. van Laack advises clients on regulatory strategy, including requirements pertaining to self-determinations of GRAS status and determinations of new dietary ingredient status, and provides expert opinions on FDA regulatory matters. Ms. van Laack also has substantial experience with regulation regarding over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and cosmetics. Among other things, she counsels clients regarding labeling and advertising of OTC drug products and cosmetics. Ms. van Laack’s practice includes USDA regulatory issues including requirements for import of animal products, use of ingredients in meat, poultry, and egg products, as well as the methods used for their processing and handling and organic labeling requirements.

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