Food Labeling Workshop: Complying with Regulatory Requirements for the Labeling of Packaged Foods


Kimberly Wingfield,
Director, Science Policy, Labeling and Standards

Grocery Manufacturers Association

Ms. Wingfield interacts extensively with GMA members to provide assistance with food labeling inquiries on FDA and USDA regulated products. She joined GMA in November of 2012. Prior to GMA, Ms. Wingfield held various positions in regulatory affairs and compliance in the food industry amounting to over ten years of experience.

Ms. Wingfield received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and MBA from Emory University.

Sabrina Correll, M.S., CAPM
Senior Manager, Agriculture & Nutrition Policy
Grocery Manufacturers Association

Ms. Correll assists in the development of positions on health and nutrition at GMA.    She joined GMA in September 2013.  Prior to GMA, Ms. Correll participated in economic research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and sustainable agriculture research at the University of Maine. 

Ms. Correll received her B.A. from Colby College and M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University.

Allison (Allie) Graham M.S., RD
Analyst, Labeling & Standards
Grocery Manufacturers Association

Ms. Graham assists GMA members with food labeling inquiries related to FDA and USDA regulated products. She also assists with the development of positions on nutrition labeling policy. She joined GMA in July of 2017. Prior to GMA, Ms. Graham participated in global nutrition research at University of New Haven and trained as a Registered Dietitian at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Ms. Graham received her B.S in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and M.S in Human Nutrition from University of New Haven. 

MaryJoy Ballantyne
Covington & Burling LLP

MaryJoy Ballantyne combines a technical and policy background with expertise in all aspects of food (human and animal), cosmetic, and OTC law at both the state and federal level to help companies and trade associations navigate ever-changing regulatory and litigation risks.

Ms. Ballantyne helps clients assess and obtain authorizations of food and dietary ingredients, create competitive yet low-risk labeling and marketing strategies, and respond strategically to regulatory and competitor challenges. Ms. Ballantyne helps clients understand the nuances of clean label claims such as “natural,” “organic,” “healthy,” “non-GMO,” “locally sourced,” “no artificial . . .” She also conducts substantiation assessments for claims and advertising campaigns, relying on her experience with scientific and clinical studies, and counsels clients on designing clinical programs to support marketing claims. On behalf of her clients, Ms. Ballantyne has submitted numerous technical documents to FDA and USDA, including comments on FSMA, dietary fiber, added sugar, and the federal bioengineered food disclosure standard.  

Ms. Ballantyne has considerable experience with food safety requirements, including HACCP, dietary supplement CGMPs, good laboratory practices (GLPs), and FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). She is certified through the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) as a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI). Clients rely on her in-depth knowledge of FSMA for practical strategies for implementing the PC requirements for human and animal food, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, Sanitary Transportation, and Food Defense and responding to related FDA inspections. With an in-house perspective on quality and manufacturing compliance, Ms. Ballantyne assists clients in strengthening CGMPs and quality systems, implementing procedures and quality agreements, successfully closing out challenging inspections, responding to 483s and warning letters, and effectively advocating in person at FDA.

Ms. Ballantyne's expertise extends beyond FDA to advising clients on the full spectrum of food laws administered by USDA, including its nutrition programs, the National Organic Program and other programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Food Safety Inspection Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, exports, and imports, including imports under the Lacey Act.

At the state level, Ms. Ballantyne helps clients understand their obligations under California’s Proposition 65 and applicable safe harbors, the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), state weights and measures requirements (including slack fill risk assessments), and local taxes targeting foods.

Using her broad knowledge of state and federal requirements for foods, cosmetics, and OTCs, Ms. Ballantyne supports corporate transactions and litigation matters, enabling clients to accurately assess the value and liabilities of potential transactions or develop technical-based litigation strategies. Ms. Ballantyne also advocates alongside clients on Capitol Hill and at the White House, providing valuable insight directly to legislators and policy makers on regulatory impacts and legal implications of pending or existing law.

Evangelia C. Pelonis
Keller and Heckman LLP

Evangelia Pelonis' practice focuses on all regulatory and compliance matters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture relating to human food, animal feed, food additives and ingredients, and dietary supplements.

Ms. Pelonis works with clients to achieve their marketing goals within the applicable legal frameworks. She counsels clients in all aspects of food development and marketing, from product formulation and manufacturing considerations to food labeling and advertising.  

Ms. Pelonis regularly assists clients with issues involving:

  • Review of food labeling and promotional materials, including appropriate common or usual names, ingredient declarations, nutrition labeling, health claims, nutrient content claims, structure function claims, allergen labeling, organic labeling
  • Review of substantiation for labeling and advertising claims 
  • Food safety and preparing self-determined GRAS positions and GRAS Notifications for submission to FDA
  • FDA enforcement actions and responses to Warning Letters
  • Compliance with FDA's Bioterrorism regulations
  • Assisting clients with product recalls and reports to the Reportable Food Registry
  • Import and export issues regulated by FDA, Customs and USDA including assisting companies in gaining release of detained products and removal from Import Alert
  • International food regulatory matters (Canada, Australia, Far East, Middle East)

While in law school, Ms. Pelonis received a Certificate in Law and Public Policy and was a Note and Comment Editor for the CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy. 

Veronica Colas
Senior Associate
Hogan Lovells LLP 

Veronica Colas counsels clients on the regulations and policy issues affecting food companies from farm to table. She represents all segments of the food industry, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and food service companies, as well as their trade associations.

Using her keen awareness of today's litigation environment, Veronica helps develop new products, label claims, advertising materials, and promotional campaigns. She has a deep understanding of both current and forthcoming food labeling and production requirements ranging from nutrition and menu labeling, to the regulatory issues surrounding genetically engineered foods and organic food production.

Veronica provides clear advice and practical solutions for compliance with labeling, advertising, and safety regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Consumer Product Safety Commission. She has significant experience in helping clients navigate regulatory enforcement challenges, such as Warning Letters, import detentions, and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Congress, and state Attorneys General. Veronica works closely with trade associations and food companies to craft comments and develop strategies in response to public policy issues such as agency rulemaking. She is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications.

Grace A. Kim
Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Grace A. Kim is an Attorney-Advisor for the Office of Trade of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C.  She worked in the Valuation and Special Programs Branch from 2013 to 2016, which focuses on valuation issues concerning merchandise imported into the United States, as well as country of origin and origination matters pertaining to free trade agreements, preferential trade legislation programs, and Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979.  In 2016, Ms. Kim began working in the Tariff Classification and Marking Branch, since renamed the Food, Textiles and Marking Branch.  As an Attorney-Advisor, she drafts and publishes advance rulings and application for further review decisions on classification and marking issues, and eligibility for preferential treatment matters. She also drafts rulings that are published in the Federal Register and Customs Bulletin, such as modifications and revocations under 19 U.S.C. 1625.  She has conducted trainings covering these customs and trade law issues for foreign Customs administrations, industry, and U.S. government agencies.  She previously participated in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations and is currently participating in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Renegotiation on the Textiles Chapter led by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.  Ms. Kim graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, and has been admitted to practice in New York and California.  Prior to law school, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Law & Society and Art History from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cordell Givens
Marketing Specialist, Country of Origin Labeling
USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service

Cordell Givens is currently the Agricultural Marketing Specialist at the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Division, in the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), where he is responsible for developing and administering compliance and enforcement activities for the COOL statute.   He has been with COOL since 2011, where he oversees the retail surveillance review process in the western region of the U.S. With managing a regulatory nationwide program, he works to coordinate training to state enforcement personnel to cover COOL retail review procedures and conducts statistical analyses related to the mandatory labeling program.  Mr. Givens is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and received a B.S. degree in Animal Science from the Virginia State University.