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FDA’s Action on Trans Fat: Do the Ends Justify the Means?

Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Venue: Presidents Room / Minnesota State Bar Association  Minneapolis, MN United States  Get Directions
Total Price: $30.00


Deadline to Register:  Monday, May 19, 2014

If you were to ask anyone in the regulated community whether FDA has been flexing its muscles in the last few years, you would get a resounding “yes” (or a “you betcha” in Minnesota).  If you were a fly on the wall at FDA, you might hear employees say something like: “This is how we roll now!”   That brings us to a key question: is FDA right to push/exceed the limits of the law in order to achieve objectives they believe advance important health objectives?  On that question, where you stand depends on where you sit.

In the case of trans fat, FDA has taken their approach to an entirely new level and the effect has been polarizing—people either love it or curse it.  In doing so, FDA has raised a whole host of issues, including:

Does FDA have the statutory authority to ban trans fat?

Is banning a nutrient contrary to decades of nutrition policy?

Should FDA evaluate the safety of nutrients in the diet (i.e. fat, carbohydrate, protein) the same way they review additives?

Are epidemiological studies, which show a correlation (but not causation) between a substance and a disease, relevant to GRAS determinations?

Do statements of nutrition policy panels (e.g., Institute of Medicine) operate to overturn GRAS determinations, including those made by FDA?

Do the data actually show that trans fat is harmful to health?

We will cover these and other implications of FDA’s actions. 

Lunch and registration will start at 11:45 a.m.  The section’s annual meeting will start at Noon, followed by the CLE program from 12:15-1:15 p.m.  As part of the annual meeting, the section will elect new officers and council members for the 2014-2015 term.  

Lunch will be provided.  Special meal requests need to be received no later than Monday, May 19.

Greg Thompson, Chief Food Law Counsel, General Mills

CLE Credits:
1.0 Standard CLE credit will be applied for | Event Code:   189759


Remote Participation:
Teleconferencing and webcasting is available.  Please indicate that you will attend remotely when registering.  Instructions will be sent via e-mail on Wednesday, May 21.


Food Drug & Device Law Section Member:  $20.00
MSBA Member But Not A Food Drug & Device Law Section Member:  $25.00
Non-MSBA Members:  $30.00
Law Students:  Free


Join the Food Drug & Device Law Section:  $28.00  MSBA members who are not members of the Food Drug & Device Law Section can join the section & attend this event for FREE.  Pay the 12-month section dues and your section membership will expire on June 30, 2015.  Click here to add the Food Drug & Device Law Section to your membership and then contact Sue Bores to register for this meeting at no charge.

Non-attorneys who are not eligible for membership in the MSBA can join the Food Drug & Device Law Section.  Details are available here.

Credit card payments should be made online:


To pay by check, use the registration form located here.


Need to cancel?  Please see our cancellation policy.

Questions?  Contact:
Sue Bores l l 612-278-6325

No sessions have been associated with this event.