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Confirmed Speakers for Global Food Contact 2020 Include:

Stay Tuned! New experts will be added to this page as approved speaker details are receieved.

  • Eric Andrews

    Technical Services Manager Colour Synthesis Solutions Ltd

    Eric Andrews is a regulatory/compliance specialist for colourants, adjuvants, and impurities used or found in plastics compounding with emphasis on food-contact materials. He has worked as a food contact compliance testing consultant, a migration testing technician with 10 years’ experience, and an impurities researcher.

  • Professor Alejandro Ariosti

    Materials for Sanitary Applications - Technical Assistance National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) - Plastics Centre, Argentina

    Professor Ariosti is a Chemical Engineer (1981, National University of Buenos Aires) with two post-degrees: a Master on Food Science and Technology (1983, National University of Mar del Plata) and a Specialization on Plastics Conversion Technologies (2005, National University of San Martín).

    He received scholarships for technical training on food packaging and other sanitary applications of plastics, at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Roma, Italy) (1987), the Svenska Quality Management Group (Stockholm, 1987), the Japan Packaging Institute/JICA (Tokyo, 1991), and the Iberoamerican (Latin America + Spain + Portugal) CYTED (Science and Technology for Development) Program Center (Antigua Guatemala, 2002).

    He works at the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) - Plastics Centre of Argentina since 1984, dealing with food packaging, materials interactions with foodstuffs, packaging and environment, and regulatory issues. His tasks at the INTI - Plastics Centre began with tests and analysis at the lab, continued and evolved with research and development, technical assistance, management, technical training, and standards and regulations development. He has been Deputy of the Plastics Centre (1997-2002) and also its Director (2002-2007). Now he is mainly involved with senior technical assistance and training, and with the MERCOSUR Packaging Group for the development of FCMs regulations.

    He also teaches Food Packaging at public Universities (National University of Buenos Aires - Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry – Food Science Department) (degree and post-degree), at the Argentine Catholic University (degree), and at the Argentine Packaging Institute (IAE) (tertiary level and post-degree). Since 2012 he is member of the Academic Commission of the Post-degree Specialization Course on Packaging (Agreement between the National University of Rosario and the IAE). He is coordinator of and Professor at several Modules of the post-degree course. He is also Professor of the IAE Technical Packaging Course since 1987.

    Since 1991 he represents INTI at the MERCOSUR Food Packaging Group, which developed the block regulations on different food contact materials, and since 1984 at the Argentine Institute of Standardization and Certification (IRAM).

    He has been national coordinator of two CYTED packaging projects (migration of food packaging components, and active and biodegradable food packaging), and at presents belongs to the scientific network Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI) (based at the BOKU University, Vienna, Austria), and he acts as its representative in Argentina.

    He is author and co-author of chapters of books in Spanish and English on food contact materials sanitary issues. For instance, his last publications are:

    - Kopper, G. and Ariosti, A., 2010. Food Packaging Legislation: Sanitary Aspects. In: Boisrobert, Ch., Stjepanovic, A., Oh, S., Lelieveld, H. (Eds.), Ensuring Global Food Safety  –  Exploring Global Harmonization. Academic Press/Elsevier, New York, USA, pp. 227-261. (now under review for the second edition in 2019).

    - Ariosti, A., (Guest Ed.). 2014. Proceedings of the 5th. ILSI International Symposium on Food Packaging 'Scientific developments supporting safety and innovation', Berlin, Germany, 14-16 November 2012. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A (Taylor & Francis, UK), 31, 3, pp. 341-565.

    - Ariosti, A. and Olivera Carrión, M. 2014. Argentina. In: Kirchsteiger-Meier, E., Baumgartner, T. (Eds.), Global Food Legislation: An Overview. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA., Weinheim, Germany, pp.1-32.

    - Ariosti, A. 2015. Global legislation for regenerated cellulose materials in contact with food. In: Baughan, J. S. (Ed.). Global legislation for food contact materials, Woodhead Publishing Ltd., Cambridge, UK, pp. 109-139.

    - Ariosti, A. 2016. Managing contamination risks from packaging materials. In: Lelieveld, H., Gabrić, D., Holah, J. (Eds.), Handbook of hygiene control in the food industry, second ed. Woodhead Publishing, Duxford, UK, pp. 147-177.

    - Ariosti, A. and Padula, M. 2017. Use of nanomaterials for food packaging in Latin American and Caribbean countries. In: Veraart, R. (Ed.), The use of nanomaterials in food contact materials – Design, application, safety. DEStech Publications Inc., Lancaster, PA, USA, pp. 165-209.

  • Joan Sylvain Baughan

    Partner Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

    Joan Baughan practices food and drug law, focusing on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and comparable international regulation of food contact materials, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. With a distinctive legal and scientific background in microbiology and medical technology, Joan helps clients establish regulatory compliance for their products globally, performs compliance audits and training seminars, and represents companies and trade associations before US agencies and their international counterparts.

    Joan Baughan also developed substantial experience in Brussels, counselling clients on the regulation of food packaging materials and medicinal products under European Union and Member State legislation.

    Joan frequently speaks at international conferences on various FDA and related regulatory topics and is an accomplished writer within the food and drug arena. She was a contributing author and the sole editor of the comprehensive food packaging book "Global Legislation for Food Contact Materials," and has written chapters – such as "Regulation of Nanotechnology in Food Contact Applications in the United States and Canada," and "US Legislation on Food Contact Materials," – for other publications. Joan also has written about drug packaging, including an article titled, "The Latest on Drug Master Files for Packaging Materials in the United States – and a Little History," for Packaging Digest.

    Bar & Court Admissions
    District of Columbia

    J.D., Catholic University of America, 1991
    B.S.M.T., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1985
    B.S., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1984

    Professional Affiliations
    American Bar Association
    International Bar Association


  • Phil Berrier

    Product Compliance Manager Printpack

    Phil Berrier leads global compliance and food safety for Printpack, a leading manufacturer/converter of flexible and rigid packaging for food, consumer goods, medical devices, and personal care products.  He has held leadership, research, and advocacy positions over the last 27 years with leading companies at all points of the plastics supply chain from chemical manufacture to brand ownership.

  • Dr. Anita Chang

    Consumer Safety Officer (CSO) U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)/Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS)/Division of Food Contact Substances (DFCS)

    Dr. Chang has over 20 years of experience with food contact materials and food additive regulations. Dr. Chang received her doctorate in Immunology at State University of New York at Buffalo. She went on to work for two years at the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences as a postdoctoral fellow to investigate gene expression. Afterwards, Dr. Chang worked as a staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for one year, where she cloned the immunoglobulin gene for Col-1, which is a monoclonal antibody against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). In her time with the FDA, Dr. Chang has worked as a regulatory toxicology review scientist, reviewing the safety data related to antibiotic resistance genes as selectable markers in genetically modified plants, GRAS petitions/notifications, antimicrobial agents, as well as direct and indirect food additives. Currently, Dr. Chang works as a consumer safety officer, coordinating the review process of premarket notifications for food contact substances.

  • Dr. Elena Emelianova

    Scientific Evaluator, Food Packaging Materials and Incidental Additives Section Health Canada

    Dr. Elena Emelianova has 15 years of experience on regulatory assessment and compliance of food contact materials and chemical products used in food processing by working as a scientific evaluator of Federal Ministry of Health in Canada. She received her PhD in inorganic chemistry and has a scientific background in analytical, environmental, and polymer chemistry. Prior to joining Health Canada, Dr. Emelianova was a professor at the St. Petersburg Technological University and a Fulbright visiting professor at George Washington University (GWU), USA. She had an experience engaged as a Chemical Management Plan coordinator between directorates of Health Canada, and as a chemistry evaluator of pesticides at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Dr. Emelianova speaks regularly at international conferences on related regulatory topics.

    Dr. Elena Emelianova also has extensive experience on counseling clients on Canada’s Food and Drug Act and Regulations, regulatory requirements, and compliance relating to chemical substances, polymers, and incidental food additives used in food processing in Canada and other jurisdictions, including the U.S., the European Union, and other countries.

  • Dr. Andres Gonzalez-Bonet

    Review Chemist U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN)

    Dr. Andres M. Gonzalez-Bonet is a review chemist at the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN), Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS), Division of Food Contact Substances (DFCS), where he reviews pre-market submissions on uses of food contact substances. His expertise at OFAS includes estimation and modeling of migration of food contact substances into food and refined consumer exposures to food contact substances. Dr Gonzalez-Bonet earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from University of Puerto Rico and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from Purdue University.

  • Michaela Hofbauer

    Group Leader, Adhesives Technology Eastman

    Michaela Hofbauer is Group Leader for the Adhesives Technology team of Eastman. She is responsible for product and application development activities as well as technical service for the Americas, with a focus on hygiene, packaging, tape, label and polymer modification applications. She operates from Eastman’s global headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee.

    Hofbauer joined Eastman in 2001 as Laboratory Manager of the European adhesives business. In 2007, she moved into marketing, and held several roles with responsibility for the European adhesive market, the tire industry, the global packaging market, and the global adhesive market. In May 2019 she returned to the technology team as a group leader.

    She is a founding member of the Sustainability Ambassadors Business Team, and serves as a mentor to team members in Europe and, since 2018, in North America. A German national, she holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Bonn.

  • Dr. Alistair Irvine

    Manager, Food Contact Compliance Smithers

    Alistair manages the Food Packaging Safety Section within Smithers. This involves advising clients on the safety legislation which applies to food packaging in a wide range of different countries throughout the world and coordinating work programmes to ensure that clients' products meet these requirements. His expertise spans all the EU countries, USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Russia and all the South American countries.

    Alistair graduated with a degree and PhD in Chemistry from Birmingham University. After working for BP and the Department of Health, he joined Smithers in 1994, taking up his current position in 1995.

  • Jeff Keithline

    Partner Keller and Heckman LLP

    Mr. Keithline assists companies in establishing the suitable regulatory status of their products under the requirements of various federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Mr. Keithline also assists clients with compliance issues under state and local requirements relating to the manufacture, labeling and disposal of products and packaging, including toxics in packaging, legislation and various state right-to-know acts. In addition, Mr. Keithline advises clients regarding the requirements for these products throughout the world, especially in Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Central and South America, and the Pacific Rim.

    Prior to law school, Mr. Keithline served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy aboard the USS West Virginia (SSBN 736), a nuclear submarine.Mr. Keithline earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Washington and Lee Law Review.


  • Kenneth L. Sonnenberg, M.Sc.

    Senior Advisor, Product Integrity Product Safety NOVA Chemicals Corporation

    Mr. Sonnenberg is Senior Advisor in NOVA Chemicals’ Product Integrity team, the group responsible for global regulatory compliance of the Corporation’s products.

    In this role he manages the regulatory compliance of NOVA Chemicals’ polyethylene resin products. His expertise spans North America (U.S., Canada), the EU, China and South America, focusing on food contact regulation, with additional work on pharmaceutical packaging and chemical control compliance.

    Combining this with his knowledge of polyethylene resins and their production, he advises the company’s business units and management on regulatory matters, and engages extensively in customer assurance and education on behalf of the company.

    A long-time member of the SPI’s Food, Drug & Cosmetic Packaging Committee, he now serves on the Committee’s Executive Board.

    After graduating with a B.Sc.  in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, he conducted research in clinical applications of lipid biochemistry, receiving an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto. He then joined NOVA Chemicals as an Analytical Chemist at its Calgary (Canada) Research Centre, and subsequently took up a position in the Product Integrity group, in which he has continued to the present.

  • Kevin C. Kenny

    Chief Operating Officer Decernis, USA

    Kevin is co-founder and owner of Decernis and is an experienced regulatory attorney who has worked and consulted for 20+ years in the food and consumer products space.  He advises some of the world’s largest manufacturers on Food, Food Contact and Supply Chain Compliance challenges globally. Working with a team of native speaker experts in all major markets, Kevin has led a Decernis team effort to expand regulatory coverage to over 200 countries.  He spends much of the year meeting with clients to identify and satisfy their needs across the Decernis global client base. Kevin builds cooperative and partnering relationships with governmental agencies and organizations (today 40+ countries across five continents, including US FDA, European Union, Canada, China and Japan).

    An expert on food contact and food additive regulation globally, Kevin is a frequent speaker at international conferences and an active participant in the Regulatory Affairs Committees of food, cosmetic and consumer product associations.  Kevin also attends the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Additives in China annually as a member of the International Food Additives Council.

    Prior to founding Decernis, Kevin worked as a regulatory attorney and later VP, International Operations at Ariel Research, which managed product safety regulations globally for chemical manufacturers.

    Kevin has lived and worked for seven years across five European and Asian countries and is fluent in German, French and Spanish. He possesses an honors Juris Doctor, an LL.M. in International Law and the Hague Diplôm de Droit International.  In 1992, he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship in Bonn and later taught International Law courses at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany.

    • USA
  • Kate McGlynn

    Associate Executive Director Recycled Paperboard Technical Association (RPTA)

    Kate McGlynn is responsible for all facets of the RPTA Comprehensive Program for ensuring RPTA member products are produced to the highest quality standards and suitable for direct food contact under FDA 21 CFR 176.170, 176.180 and 176.260.  She has 30 years’ experience in the paper industry and more than a decade in the product stewardship field.  Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry; a Master of Science in Pulp & Paper Engineering; and a J.D. in Law, with membership in the Alabama and Texas Bar Associations.

  • Catherine Nielsen

    Partner, Food and Drug Practice Keller & Heckman LLP

    Catherine Nielsen, a partner in our Food and Drug Practice, specializes in counseling domestic and foreign corporations on the regulatory status of food additives and food contact materials before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

    She also advises clients on the regulatory compliance of food contact substances in Canada, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Rim. She works with companies to obtain explicit regulatory listings of packaging components (polymer components, additives, printing inks, adhesives, polymer production aids), other food additives, and color additives in various jurisdictions, including in the U.S., MERCOSUR, and the European Union.

    Ms. Nielsen also assists companies in assessing potential adulteration issues and advising on potential recalls. She advises companies on compliance with California Proposition 65 and Coalition on Northeastern Governors “Toxics in Packaging” legislation, and other state legislation dealing with toxic substance exposure issues.

  • Ron Osborn

    Principal Scientist, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Americas R&D Mars Wrigley

    Ron Osborn is currently a Principal Scientist for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, at their Global Innovation Center in Chicago, IL.  He is a member of the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs group and is primarily responsible for the Safety and Regulatory Compliance assessments of food contact materials.  Additional responsibilities include safety evaluations of the seasonal add-on items marketed with Wrigley products and leading the development of Wrigley’s Packaging Compliance Management System.  Prior to his current position, Ron had a successful 20 year career in the analytical laboratory.

  • Jeff Plank

    Sr Manager - Corporate Quality Land O'Lakes

    Jeff Plank is Senior Manager - Corporate Quality at Land O'Lakes where he oversees global QA/CI/Food Safety Management of over 120 packaging suppliers and is responsible for assessing risk, supplier approval, FMEA, performing on-site facility food safety & CAPA audits as well as working with internal plants to resolve packaging quality, compatibility or safety issues.

  • Marjatta Punkka

    Product Safety and Sustainability Manager Metsä Board

    Marjatta graduated in 1995 from Technical University of Helsinki with a MSc degree in paper, paper converting, and printing technologies. During her career, she has gained strong experience from industry in field of paperboard, printing, and food production and seen the development of requirements with food contact materials from different perspectives. Currently she is working as a Product Safety and Sustainability Manager at Metsä Board.

  • Dr. Peter Walther

    Regional Head of Product Safety and Regulatory Siegwerk USA Inc

    Peter has the position of Regional Head of Product Safety and Regulatory (PS+R) at Siegwerk USA Inc. in Des Moines / IA.

    After obtaining his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Kaiserslautern (Germany), he joined Siegwerk in 1993 and worked in the Global Headquarters in Siegburg (located near the city of Cologne) for 22 years. During that time, he has dealt with all kinds of Product Safety related topics like Chemical Legislation, Food Safety, Environmental subjects and Sustainability, since 2005 in a Global responsibility.

    In Mai 2015, he relocated to Siegwerk USA Co. where he is responsible for all PS+R related activities of Siegwerks locations in the US.

  • Xiaolu Wang

    Regulatory Research Analyst - Asia Pacific Verisk 3E

    Ms. Xiaolu Wang has extensive legal and regulatory knowledge and expertise in the field of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and product compliance. Prior to joining Verisk 3E as a regulatory analyst for the Asia Pacific region, Ms. Wang worked for a regulatory consulting firm based in Washington DC as a senior regulatory specialist, during which time she monitored and analyzed regulatory changes in Asia, focusing on chemical management, food contact materials, cosmetics, and medical devices. In addition, she worked as a litigator in Beijing, advising her clients on corporate law matters and contracts.

    At Verisk 3E, one of the major topics that Ms. Wang closely monitors and analyzes is regulatory requirements for consumer packaged goods (CPG), such as food additive, food contact material, cosmetics, and personal care products, in multiple Asian countries, including China, Japan, and Korea. 

    Ms. Wang has been a frequent speaker at the Global Food Contact Conferences hosted by Smithers Pira since 2017 and served as a member of the Advisory Board for a number of these conferences.

    Ms. Wang obtained her Bachelor of Laws (JD equivalent) from the Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing, China and a Master of Laws degree (LL.M) from American University in Washington DC.