EAS Consulting Group, LLC (EAS), a consulting, training and auditing firm that specializes in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory matters is now offering a new strategic consulting service to the food industry as it looks to develop new foods and dietary supplements that meet the demands of today’s health-conscious consumers.
EAS Chairman & CEO Edward A. Steele announced this new service to coincide with the company’s exhibition IFT 16. Bruce Silverglade has recently joined EAS and will be serving as the nucleus of its new strategic consulting service for product development and labeling. Mr. Silverglade is a celebrated food attorney with many years of experience, particularly in the area of food law, nutrition labeling, and claims.
The new service is being offered as food firms are faced with heavy decisions in light of vague or non-existent regulatory guidance and regulation. EAS and its predecessor companies from which it was formed, have been providing guidance on how to comply with established regulations for over 55 years. According to Mr. Steele, “this service will take it one step further by working with R&D, regulatory and marketing managers who have to navigate in the absence of clear regulation.”
It will be staffed primarily with experts that have worked in or support of the world’s largest global food companies. This will include attorneys, and former regulatory, quality and R&D managers who have spent much of their careers working in these areas prior to becoming consultants. These industry-oriented consultants will have the full support of EAS’s network of over 150 regulatory consultants, many of which have more than 30 years of FDA experience.
These consultants will be able to help address questions such as: Should your company disclose GMO ingredients, create a “non-GMO” product line, or stay the course? What are the risks of self-defining “natural” foods including the risk of class action litigation challenging such claims? How can your company make undefined claims such as “Handcrafted” while minimizing risk from federal and state regulatory authorities? How can your company prevent an FDA warning letter from triggering “pile on” actions by state attorney generals and plaintiff class action attorneys? When does compliance with FDA labeling regulations for structure/function and other claims constitute compliance with FTC enforcement policy regarding food and dietary supplement advertising? What are trending claims and how to make them while minimizing regulatory risk.
The new EAS strategic consulting service will provide solutions to companies confronting daunting product development and labeling issues by taking a holistic approach that considers a company’s marketing objectives and the current regulatory, compliance, and enforcement environment at the federal, state and local levels.
Clients will be guided through the various regulatory processes at each level of government. EAS will advise senior management on government affairs strategy, contacting agencies directly to effectuate policy changes and filing official comments as necessary. EAS will also use its extensive network of contacts to inform departments and agencies through third party outreach efforts and build alliances to help achieve a company’s objectives.
When problems arise, the EAS strategic consulting group will mobilize as a government and public affairs “S.W.A.T.” team and provide real time response to crisis management situations. The team will prepare and deliver persuasive, data-driven counter messaging in both traditional media and social media forums. EAS will utilize relationships with today’s opinion leaders including health professionals, academics, and journalists to deliver positive messages to create a fact-based dialog and bring a crisis situation under control.
Once a crisis is under control, EAS’s product development and labeling consultants can carefully develop a long-term communications and strategic regulatory compliance plan designed to shift the tide of public opinion and protect a company’s reputation and brands.
The new EAS group would also be available to write custom reports detailing how new FDA rules affect claims made by a company for specific brands.
EAS will be adding additional food industry veterans in support of this new service as needed. It sees a growing demand for highly experienced thought leaders to help executives in the food business market their products to meet the demands of the consumer while navigating the increasing complexities of the ever changing regulatory environment.