In the article, “A Fertile Niche,” The University of Minnesota Law School magazine reported on Minnesota Law graduates who are thriving in the fast-changing world of food and agriculture law. The firm’s food litigation and regulatory practice leader, Sarah Brew, is featured in the article along with fellow alumnae and clients Lori Marco, senior vice president of external affairs and general counsel for Hormel Foods, and Kelly McLain, lead lawyer of Cargill’s Global Edible Oil Solutions Group.
The article explains how Brew’s practice evolved to become focused on the food industry and highlights how Brew helps clients bring new food products to market and how they label and advertise those products. “There are many issues to sort through, from claiming how it’s produced and what’s in it to labeling and advertising,” she says. “We also have to look at supply chains to make sure a food label can claim something is organic or GMO-free. It’s work that’s really focused on preventing problems as clients develop, grow, and market a product.”
The feature discusses the broad scope of Brew’s national practice and diverse client base, including Fortune 500 food producers, as well as small startups in the natural and organic foods arena and app-based delivery companies. “We’re seeing so much innovation and so many different types of products and ways to reach consumers,” Brew said. “For example, with the whole new category of novel proteins, the FDA is looking at what can be called meat or cheese. And that has led states to enact laws to protect their historic meat and dairy industries. It’s surfacing some interesting constitutional arguments. And as technology changes, it’s creating a lot of fascinating legal issues.”
The article notes how her national litigation work continues to grow and that she is currently representing several high-profile food companies in class-action lawsuits challenging food labeling and advertising. “Food is so topical and so relatable,” Brew shared. “It’s also an area of incredible creativity and challenge.”