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What will be most challenging about the future regulatory landscape for the packaging industry?

In the lead up to Global Food Contact 2016, we interviewed Principal Attorney Eric Greenberg regarding the future forecast on the outlook for FCM regulations, challenges in today’s regulatory environment and more.

Eric F. Greenberg is Principal Attorney of the law firm Eric F. Greenberg, P. C., with a practice concentrated in food and drug law, packaging law, and commercial litigation.

His food and drug work has included regulatory counseling, label and claims review, new product development, GRAS and food contact materials evaluations and clearances, negotiations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state agencies, handling recalls, and defending enforcement actions.

Read Eric Greenberg's full profile here >>

Smithers: You are a regular speaker for us at Global Food Contact, how do you see the event has changed and developed over the last few years and what are you looking forward about the 2016 edition?

Eric Greenberg: The value of this particular conference is that, over time, attendees can deepen their understanding of international requirements and trends as well as their relationships with many key players in the field.

I am sure the 2016 edition will continue that trend.

Smithers: You are joining the panel on ‘is it just me or are the regulations getting tougher’ can you give us a sneak peek on your opinions on the matter?

Eric Greenberg: One key factor will be the degree to which regulators are persuaded by unscientific fears and concerns. This industry is overwhelmingly populated by people and companies who expend significant resources carefully evaluating their materials and assuring their safety. It will be important going forward that that message be conveyed effectively in order to minimize misguided efforts.

Smithers: You have bravely offered to contribute a future forecast on the outlook for regulations – what do you think the packaging industry will find most challenging about the future regulatory landscape?

Eric Greenberg: My guess is that we will see a higher level of public consciousness about food contact materials than has been seen in past decades. It will be more prudent than ever for industry to be alert to emerging issues and to emphasize science and safety, even though the public is not always going to be guided by science.

Smithers: What are the most common challenges you see in today’s regulatory environment – if you were a legislator, how would you change it for the better?

Eric Greenberg: Were I a regulator rather than an attorney in private practice, I would try to base decision-making on science, not fads or opinion surveys, because failing to do that presents one of the most frequent challenges in today’s regulatory environment. Moreover, I would try to minimize the burdens that companies face when individual states impose their own, often inconsistent, laws and regulations.

Smithers: What can other regional markets learn and apply from FDA legislation?

Eric Greenberg: Companies worldwide already know, and will continue to learn, about the effects of the Food Safety Modernization Act. It is also important that they understand other US laws for example relating to BPA, and the requirements of California’s Proposition 65.

View the Global Food Contact 2016 full conference program >>

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