A 30-Year Development

By Eric F. Greenberg, Attorney-at-law

As of 2019, it’s been 30 years since I began writing columns about legal and regulatory developments for the packaging industry. That first column was about time-temperature indicators on food packages and fresh-prepared refrigerated foods. The experience of writing these columns has been enjoyable and rewarding. I owe a great debt of gratitude to all of the loyal readers, expert industry and government information sources, and talented editors who have helped me along the way. Thank you all.

I would comment that marking this anniversary makes me feel old, but the truth is, nowadays pretty much everything makes me feel old.

It’s also true, though, that right now the realm of legal and regulatory developments affecting packaging is more dynamic and changeable than it has been during long stretches of those 30 years. After all, it hasn’t always been the case that…

  • trace amounts of chemicals in substances used to make packaging have captured the attention of the public and some lawmakers, or that
  • consumers are demanding "clean label" foods, as well as a brave new world of non-meat-containing meat alternative products that’s catching on quickly, or that
  • some NGOs are advocating against permitting companies to independently conclude that their uses of substances in food are Generally Recognized As Safe, or that
  • poor waste handling practices in some parts of the world have inspired anti-plastics business practices and laws, or that
  • new packaging technologies with nanomaterials and active and intelligent features seem to emerge regularly, or that
  • the U.S. government’s administration is ideologically opposed to the creation of any new regulations on essentially any topic, even those relating to safety, or that
  • food and dietary supplement label claims of the products’ various health effects, or that they are ‘natural’ or have other characteristics, are being challenged in civil class actions, or that
  • the nation is undergoing a convulsive revolution in the legality of cannabis- and CBD-containing products, pressuring packagers to stay on top of structural and labeling requirements.

All of those developments, and more, are part of the current scene. Lucky for your humble columnist, they can be expected to remain important sources of new developments and information for readers for the foreseeable future, as well. PW

Eric Greenberg can be reached at [email protected] Or visit his firm’s Web site atwww.ericfgreenbergpc.com.

This article is informational only and is not intended as, and should not be considered to be, legal advice.

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