Chip English, Partner-in-Charge, Washington D.C.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Chip English navigates and maximizes his clients’ success as affected by governments. He focuses on practical advice with the goal of minimizing risk while valuing reward. This means understanding and finding a creative and legal way to the client’s underlying goals where other lawyers might simply say “no.”
He thus concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters for business and trade association clients, especially in food and agriculture. He proudly has more than 25 years of experience in organic farming and processing regulation. Chip handles significant FDA recall and other food safety issues. He regularly advises clients on labeling issues and defends clients against class-action claims that products are mislabeled or misleading.
Chip also focuses on constitutional matters involving the Commerce Clause, federal preemption, commercial speech, and the First Amendment. Chip has represented clients before multiple state and federal agencies, especially including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture where he has obtained numerous favorable rulings and results. He has also appeared successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court, in addition to arguing regularly before a number of trial and appellate courts.
Litigation – Represented private parties and trade associations in federal court litigation challenging and defending federal and state regulatory decisions involving the food and beverage industry.
Hearings and rulemaking – Represented processor and producer groups informal hearings and informal rulemaking before the USDA and state agencies (e.g., California Department of Food and Agriculture).
Regulatory – Represented private parties in compliance, enforcement, recall, and regulatory review before the FDA and state health agencies.
Chip has a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia
1301 K Street NW, Suite 500 East
Washington, D.C. 20005
Clean Label Opportunities & Challenges Arising from Innovative Products and Claims
Creative new products and product claims wishing to communicate a food or beverage’s benefits to consumers often are crucial elements for marketplace success. Due to complex and evolving regulations and private party litigation, R&D staffs should consult regulatory experts early in the product development process to minimize risk and increase development efficiencies. To help clarify concerns, this presentation provides an overview of pitfalls and opportunities when striving to take maximum advantage of an innovative product or claim. It will examine whether there is a common understanding of permissible evolving claims and who within the legal system decides. What issues arise when striving to substantiate these claims? Recent legal challenges to products entering the market will give insights into limiting risks (and gain rewards).
The term “clean label” has no regulatory definitions, nor do many of the claims used on “clean labels.” “Clean label” encompasses concepts from transparency, simplicity, and authenticity to natural and sustainable. To communicate their products’ desirable traits to consumers, the food and natural products industry is using similar far-ranging claims. Examples include clean; cage-free; free-range; grass-fed; local; fair trade; non-GMO; sugar-, fat-, gluten-, hormone-, dairy-, preservative-, artificial coloring-, and artificial flavoring-free; “simply from nature”; bare; stripped; unfiltered; and cold-pressed; among others. This presentation provided regulatory updates on existing and emerging clean label-type claims, and offers thoughts and advice on the use of more inventive, creative, and emerging declarations, as well as the business, reputation and litigation risks
of doing so.
GMO labeling issues involve the role of government, science, industry and consumers in determining whether and how our food should be labeled when produced using biotechnology. These interests do not agree on definitions, who decides and even what labeling should or should not be permitted. Add politics, state and federal legislation (mandating, preempting or making any labeling voluntary), and active court cases and uncertainty reigns. With Vermont’s July 1 deadline for compliance with its mandatory GMO labeling law looming, what will or could happen and how do businesses respond? This presentation will provide an up-to-date analysis of where we are and may be going.