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Food Safety and Food Industry Defense

Gentry Locke attorneys have unique experience in the food industry, including representation of a food company executive in the largest food safety case ever brought by the United States.

Food safety has become a matter of national security and forms an integral part of federal and state governmental priorities. Over $1.6 billion has been earmarked by President Obama for food safety work in 2016 alone. This represents a $109.5 million increase from 2015. Other government agencies have requested large budgets for food safety. The FDA has requested $2.7 billion in budget authority, with $1.3 billion allocated to food safety initiatives. For instance, the CDC has sought $50.1 million for food safety and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has requested $895 million for the cost of food safety inspections and regulatory enforcement.

This governmental focus illustrates the need for a careful and thoughtful approach to food safety. Gentry Locke is uniquely situated to assist your company in being proactive, responsive, and reactive, if necessary. We have garnered vital experience at key times in the history and development of food safety to assist companies in responding to the current level of oversight and enforcement by government agencies. Gentry Locke’s experience entails among other things, FDA inspections, national recalls, and Congressional hearings. We were one of the few professionals to play a central role in responding to a national foodborne illness outbreak, including the subsequent five-year investigation and multi-month-long jury trial.

While the number of state and federal regulations and the emphasis on enforcement actions may be overwhelming to some companies, careful planning for the unexpected is the best form of prevention your company can take. Gentry Locke has the right experience advising before, during, and after the following events:

  • State department of health and agricultural inspections
  • Food safety audits and accreditation processes
  • Federal inspections (e.g., FDA, CDC, FSIS, etc.)
  • Congressional hearings
  • Multi-agency civil investigations and litigation
  • Multi-agency criminal investigations and trials
  • Recalls and national foodborne outbreaks

Gentry Locke’s experience and presence during the key events that have shaped food safety under the Food Safety Modernization Act provide companies with an insider’s view of food safety regulation, inspection, and enforcement actions, both civil and criminal.

Whether your company is currently facing civil or criminal enforcement action, or seeks advice regarding how to ensure compliance with a multitude of regulations and expectations by the federal and state governments, Gentry Locke attorneys can help you navigate these largely unchartered waters.

Have questions? Contact us.