Why Attend?

Last Year’s Agenda

A preliminary agenda is to be announced in June 2020. If you would like to be notified, please let us know .

Thursday, September 26

Registration and Continental Breakfast | 8:15 – 8:55 AM

8:45 – 9:00 AM
Laura Brown
, Director, Educational Programs, FDLI
Suzie L. Trigg
, Partner, Haynes & Boone LLP and Chair, Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference

9:00–9:45 AM
Keynote Address
Douglas W. Stearn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), FDA

Supreme Court and Federal Appellate Court decisions can dramatically alter the landscape for food and dietary supplement marketing. This panel will discuss commercial speech in light of ABA v. San Francisco and NILFA v. Becerra, how several pending Supreme Court cases could impact FDA deference during litigation, and what the ultimate disposition of Frank v. Gaos could mean for Article III standing for class action plaintiffs. The recent trend of state courts allowing private lawsuits for FDCA violations, despite such actions seemingly being preempted by the Supreme Court’s 2001 decision in Buckman v. Plaintiff Legal Comm., will also be discussed.

Anthony J. Anscombe, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Matthew G. Ball, Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Moderated by Amy E. Hancock, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, American Beverage Association

10:45–11:00 AM 
Coffee and Networking Break

Sugar has become a major source of contention in the food industry. But what exactly is sugar, and how does it impact health and the human body? This session will begin with a scientific explanation of sugar and its various forms. The panelists will then discuss how FDA and state regulatory agencies are addressing sugar, as well as sugar-centric industry litigation that has challenged marketing and advertising claims.

Allison C. Sylvetsky,  Assistant Professor, George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Kurt D. Weaver, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Maia C. Kats, Of Counsel, Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP
Moderated by Suzie L. Trigg, Partner, Haynes & Boone LLP and Chair, Food Adverting, Labeling, and Litigation Conference

12:00 –1:15 PM
Networking Luncheon

Experts from both the FTC and NAD will share the perspective of their respective organizations on their roles in industry marketing, with a focus on recent actions, and claim substantiation for dietary supplement products.

Richard Cleland, Assistant Director, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
La Toya Sutton, Attorney, BBBNP, National Advertising Division (NAD)
Moderated by Diane McEnroe, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP


Social media marketing and advertising is vital for reaching tomorrow’s potential customers. This panel will look at the unique challenges of promoting food and dietary supplement products online, such as using influencers, contracting with third party providers of social media services, and what to do in the case of ingredient-based commercial disparagement claims and misinformation.

Jason W. Gordon, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
Nury H. Yoo, Counsel, Keller and Heckman LLP
Holly A. Melton, Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP
Moderated by Ronald Y. Rothstein, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP

3:00–3:15 PM
Coffee and Networking Break

In the early 20th Century, the FDA Standards of Identity were an important tool for combatting misleading food advertising. However, many of these standards are now out of date, creating obstacles for product innovation. The FDA recently announced the removal two previous standards while indicating more significant changes are on the way. This panel will review the history of FDA Standards of Identity, what their modernization may or should look like in light of public health objectives and consumer perceptions, and the potential impacts these changes may have on industry.

John F. Johnson, III, Senior Associate & Managing Attorney, Benjamin L. England & Associate, LLC
Sarah Sorscher, Deputy Director of Regulatory Affairs, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Seth A. Mailhot, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP


“What’s in a name? That which we call ‘milk’ by any other name would taste as sweet.” The market for and availability of plant-based meat and dairy product alternatives has exploded in recent years, and commercially available cell-based (lab grown) meat is just around the corner. But not everyone agrees that companies should use words like “sausage” and “milk” for plant- or cell-based products. This panel will discuss the legal status of meat and dairy product terms, the regulatory agreement between FDA and USDA, attempts by states legislatures to restrict the use of terminology, and how these issues should be considered in light of First Amendment jurisprudence. Panelists will also discuss the feasibility and merits of proactively creating a regulatory framework for cell-based meat.

Donnelly L. McDowell, Senior Associate, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Nicole E. Negowetti, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor, Animal Law and Policy Clinic, Harvard Law School
Nigel Barrella, Barrella Law PLLC
Shelly Garg, Member, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

5:15-6:30 PM
Networking Reception

Friday, September 27

8:30–8:55 AM 
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:55–9:00 AM 
Steven Leslie, Assistant Director, Educational Programs, FDLI

Back by popular demand, this session will feature insights from in-house counsels at industry manufacturers who will share their most pressing legal issues, what keeps them up at night, and how they approach these challenges.

Lanny Schimmel, Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel, Kerry, Inc.
Stephen L. Lacey, Division Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories
John Luedke, General Counsel – Global Food Law, Mars, Inc
Moderated by August T. Horvath, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP


This panel will discuss Prop 65 developments over the past year, including the new safe harbor warnings, the potential listing of marijuana as a reproductive toxicant, and litigation over glyphosate, lead, and acrylamide.  Panelists will also discuss new and emerging issues that have arisen as food manufacturers implement the regulations, as well as New York’s proposed Consumer Right to Know Act, which has been dubbed “Prop 65 Lite.”

Tamany Vinson Bentz, Partner, DLA Piper LLP
Trenton H. Norris, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP


10:45–11:00 AM 
Coffee and Networking Break

This session will look at the current state of industry class action litigation from the perspective of an outside defense attorney, plaintiff’s attorney, in-house counsel, and litigation consultant. Panelists will cover a wide range of topics, including the recent trend of challenging “natural” and other label claims based on the use of multi-function ingredients, developments and issues in dietary supplement class actions, the role of pre-suit demand letters and litigation strategy, and challenges to maintaining and settling cases, such as data aggregation.

Dale J. Giali, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Kirstin Mazzeo, Chief Counsel – Litigation, Campbell Soup Company
Timothy Snail,  Vice President, Charles River Associates
Michael R. Reese, Founding Partner, Reese LLP

12:00–1:00 PM 
Luncheon with Table Topic Discussions
The luncheon will feature follow-up discussions on conference panel topics, facilitated by speakers from those panel.

While the 2018 Farm Bill declassified hemp and hemp-derived products as a Schedule I controlled substance, it expressly preserved FDA’s authority to regulate products containing cannabis or related compounds. However, this has not stopped the proliferation of CBD-containing food, beverage, and dietary supplement products from becoming available on the market, both online and in retail stores. This panel will provide an overview FDA actions regarding cannabis products, what upcoming changes may be on the horizon, and strategies for managing risks in an evolving regulatory landscape.

Marc C. Sanchez, Regulatory Counsel, CIHCC, LLC (d/b/a FDA Atty)
Stefanie Jill Fogel, Partner, DLA Piper LLP
Sharon Mayl, Senior Advisor for Policy, Office of the Commissioner, FDA
Moderated by Allison Fulton, Partner, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP 

A majority of states now allow at least limited medical use of marijuana, and several states have recently enacted laws legalizing certain CBD products.  These laws are at odds with federal prohibitions on both marijuana and CBD as an ingredient in food and dietary supplement products.  This panel will examine the ethical issues of representing medical marijuana and CBD product manufacturers in light of the tension between state and federal laws.

Lauren A. Farrugia, Associate, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Seth A. Goldberg, Partner, Duane Morris LLP
Mark Mansour, Partner, Locke Lord LLP


3:00 PM 
Conference Adjournment