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Contributing Writers

Kelly Damewood

Kelly Damewood

Kelly Damewood is licensed to practice law in Oregon and calls Portland her home. She is the 2013-14 Marler Clark Graduate Assistant at Food Safety News, and a LLM Candidate in Agriculture and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Kelly received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School, and her B.A. in English from the University of Portland. She has had many diverse experiences working in food and agriculture such as running a small organic farm. She tweets about ag and food @KellyDamewood and runs West Coast Ag & Food Law Blog.

Articles Written by Kelly Damewood

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Controversy Continues Over Listing Evaporated Cane Juice on Ingredient Labels

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Recent action by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may smooth the path for food manufacturers to continue to declare sweeteners derived from cane syrup (such as sugar) as “Evaporated Cane Juice” (ECJ) on food labels, at least for the foreseeable future. Last month, FDA announced that it was reopening comments for 60 days on… Continue Reading

Tribes Still Troubled by FDA’s ‘Inadequate’ Consultation Policy

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With less than 30 days notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally set a date for face-to-face consultation with American Indian tribes and pueblos on its proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). On March 27, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor sent a letter to tribal… Continue Reading

Industry Associations Hope FSMA Rules Won’t Duplicate Marketing Agreements, Orders

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National and regional marketing agreements and orders may give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) some options as it continues to issue and revise rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In comments to the FSMA proposed rule for produce safety, a number of industry associations asked FDA to take into account… Continue Reading

Food Ingredients: Trade Secrets vs. Public Disclosure

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Can a food manufacturer determine that an ingredient is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and maintain trade secrets information on that ingredient? The answer to this question may be more perplexing than Congress originally intended when it created the GRAS exemption to food additives in 1958. At that time, food ingredients were more simple and… Continue Reading

Is the GRAS Process Broken?

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From spices to preservatives, U.S. food manufacturers have access to thousands of globally sourced substances to enhance the flavor, texture, and appeal of their products. But some question whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adequately regulates the safety of these abundant substances. Groups such as The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources… Continue Reading

What About Marijuana Food Safety?

Opinion

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A considerable paradox exists in U.S. food policy. Although the federal government has named food safety as a top priority, an entire pocket of the food industry remains largely unregulated by, or at least largely under the radar of, most federal agencies. That pocket is marijuana-infused food. The term “marijuana-infused food” may spark memories of… Continue Reading

Tracing Food Controversies Back to GRAS

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Update: This article has been edited to remove references to caramel coloring. What do trans fat, caffeine and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have in common? Each of these distinct, seemingly unrelated food controversies actually shares a common origin: the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) process. In fact, a wide range of food controversies — from sweeteners to… Continue Reading

The GRAS Process: How Companies Legally Add Ingredients to Food

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Do you ever wonder how controversial ingredients end up in your food in the first place? For instance, why are energy drink companies allowed to add novel ingredients such as botanical extracts to their products? And why were companies ever allowed to use partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), a major source of artificial trans fat, in… Continue Reading

When Does a Cottage Food Law Become a House Food Law?

Opinion

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Last week on Food Safety News, Dan Flynn wrote an article discussing Virginia’s plans to loosen its cottage food laws. Cottage food laws are basically laws that allow small-time producers to use appliances in their homes to bake, cook, can, pickle, dry or candy certain low-risk foods for sale. By contrast, state laws require all… Continue Reading

FSMA’s Small Farm Exemption Has Its Limits

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Food and farm advocates seem to agree that the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is somewhat limited in what it can do for small farmers and producers as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). When Congress passed FSMA in 2011, it gave FDA a statutory mandate, as well as a degree of… Continue Reading