Meat and Poultry Labeling – An Introduction to USDA’s Label Approval Requirements


All meat and poultry labels are subject to approval requirements by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service before they may be marketed.  FSIS has divided these labels into two categories- those that receive generic approval of all components, and those that must receive specific or “sketch” approval based on FSIS regulations.  For example, sketch approval is required for labels that include “special statements and claims,” those that have been identified by FSIS as needing additional documentation.  Recently, USDA has expanded the types of labels that may be generically approved.

John Dillard, OFW Law’s USDA Practice Group Lead, will provide an introduction to: (1) USDA’s approach to label approval; (2) USDA’s recently-expanded approach to “generic” approval; and (3) circumstances where prior-approval is required.

Time and Date:

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Noon – 1 p.m. (EDT)

11 a.m. – Noon (CDT)


View a Recording of the Webinar Here


John Dillard, Principal Attorney, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC

John Dillard is a principal at OFW Law. He provides regulatory counsel, general counsel, and litigation services to clients in the agriculture and food industries.

In his regulatory practice, John provides advice to companies and trade associations on diverse topics affecting clients in the food and agriculture industries. This includes food labeling and food safety matters before USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). John advises meat packers, poultry processors, restaurant chains, and animal food manufacturers on food safety and labeling matters. He also regularly advises clients on compliance with the Packers and Stockyards Act, the National Bioengineered Foods Disclosure Standard, and the National Organic Program. John is also a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for human and animal foods and has completed the FSPCA PCQI Lead Instructor training for animal food facilities.

John also provides general counsel services to several food and agricultural trade associations, such as the American Feed Industry Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Institute of Oilseed Products. In this role, he provides advice on corporate governance, contract drafting and evaluation, antitrust, director fiduciary responsibilities, and employment matters.

John also represents clients in litigation in state and federal civil matters and USDA administrative enforcement proceedings. John has litigated cases involving Clean Water Act disputes, livestock nuisance odor torts, Packers and Stockyards Act enforcement, Animal Welfare Act enforcement, biotech seed patenting, country-of-origin labeling requirements, and Native American agriculture. John has also represented the interests of trade association clients that have participated in several high-profile agricultural law cases.

Research & Materials:

Slides from presentation