On March 22, 2018, Nigel Barrella participated in a panel discussion hosted by the New York City Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee.
The event, entitled “Say It Ain’t Soy! The Labeling of Plant-Based Alternative Foods,” was prompted by the increased attention to plant-based alternative foods, and dairy alternatives in particular. Nigel gave a presentation in favor of regulatory flexibility, arguing that it is only common sense for producers to use the same natural language that consumers use.
Also presenting were Lori Barrett-Peterson, an attorney with the New York City Law Department, who gave an overview of the history of milk regulation in New York and the United States; as well as Lorraine Lewandrowski, an attorney and dairy farmer in upstate New York, who presented perspectives shared by many dairy producers. Bari Wolf, of the law firm Vernon & Ginsburg LLC, moderated the discussion.
Earlier this year, on behalf of the Good Food Institute, Nigel filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a class-action lawsuit alleging that almond milk is a misbranded food. And last year, also for GFI, Nigel submitted a citizen petition urging FDA to clearly affirm its policy of flexibility in labeling new foods, and to reject calls for anticompetitive regulation from certain members of industry. These matters are still pending.