Recent Presentation at a Food Industry Commerce
This last week I was in Las Vegas, not as a getaway to gamble and cavort, but to give a presentation on a panel of experts on FDA regulatory audits. The presentation was part of a big trade-show and industry conference called SupplySide West, which brings together (according to its website) “17,000 ingredient buyers and suppliers from the dietary supplement, beverage, functional food, personal care and sports nutrition industries.
My presentation was called, “FSMA [Food Safety Modernization Act] and the Current State of Food Safety Litigation: Some Perspectives of a Longtime Food Safety Attorney.” You can find my PowerPoint presentation HERE.
There were a couple of points I made, but the two most important were that: (1) efforts at achieving regulatory compliance are important, but one should never forget that keeping what you make and sell safe is the ultimate goal; and (2) complying with regulations does not prevent someone from suing you and holding you liable for damages if what you sold, despite your best efforts, caused injury, because the doctrine of strict liability focuses on the product, not efforts.
I have always enjoyed speaking to people who work in the industry, even though I have spent a good part of my career filing lawsuits against companies who sell unsafe products. Ultimately, I would just as much be part of the effort at prevention, than being the person who helps “clean up” the aftermath of mistakes that have been made.
Today, I spend the majority of my time working small and medium sized businesses, and it is highly rewarding. Most companies want to do the right thing, and supporting that is great.