On April 6, 2011, partner Sarah Roller spoke at the 2011 Food and Drug Law Institute Annual Conference. She participated in the panel, "Can We Say That? Comparative Aspects of U.S., European and Canadian Regulation of Claims for Foods, Beverages, and Dietary Supplements."
The session defined terms such as "food," "dietary supplement," "natural health products," and "novel foods" and what they mean under the laws governing product marketing both in the U.S. and abroad. It discussed the regulatory and enforcement implications of these definitions for companies wishing to market foods, beverages or dietary supplements and clarified what types of marketing claims can be made for them. In addition, it delineated the kind of scientific or technical evidence that is required to prove that marketing claims satisfy the legal standards that govern claim substantiation in the those jurisdictions. This session also explained the differences that exist in the claims that are permitted on product "labels," "labeling," and "advertising" (including the Internet) and detailed the kinds of premarket clearance procedures and postmarket enforcement tools that are used to address false and misleading health claims for foods, beverages and dietary supplements in the U.S. and abroad. Finally, this session defined the business and legal risks associated with these premarket clearance procedures and postmarket enforcement actions for companies that wish to market this type of product.