Jessica P. O’Connell, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
Jessica P. O’Connell is Partner at 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 the 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 the FDA and HHS on legal issues primarily related to foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics, including implementing FSMA and nutrition labeling initiatives and import-specific issues. Before joining FDA, Jessica was a law clerk for Hon. Nancy B. Firestone at the US Court of Federal Claims.
Jessica received a bachelor’s degree in biology and physics from the University of Virginia, an MPH from Johns Hopkins, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Presentation: From Standards of Identity to Sustainability Claims: Hot Topics in Protein-Based Foods
Description: Rising creativity in new animal- and alternative protein-based foods has also led to increased litigation. The use of claims regarding product benefits often is crucial for marketplace success, but care must be taken to minimize the risk of lawsuits and regulatory action. Declarations regarding a food or beverage’s sustainability, ingredients, source, or protein quality have produced undesired attention for product manufacturers and marketers. This presentation looks at current regulatory activity in this area and provides insights to better understand key legal and risk mitigation considerations when deciding to market a product.
Description: The naming of products using novel and plant-based protein sources has been a top focus of federal and state regulators in the past few years. This presentation will explore the federal regulatory framework at both FDA and USDA, recent actions at the federal and state level, what to expect in the coming year, and key considerations for the protein industry to minimize risk and maximize marketing flexibility.
Description: The new Presidential administration will likely lead to changes in how FDA and USDA regulate food and food ingredients over the next few years and beyond. This presentation will explore the potential opportunities and challenges of the new political environment, and discuss anticipated legislative and regulatory actions in the food space in the coming year. It will include the FDA’s continued implementation of new nutrition labeling requirements and USDA’s implementation of the GE labeling law, and will identify key considerations particularly for the protein industry in order to minimize risk and maximize marketing flexibility.