J.D., Cornell Law School
B.A., cum laude, Dartmouth College
General Editor, Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy
Bar and Court Admissions
District of Columbia Bar
New York Bar
Brian advises clients on a range of matters involving regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). His practice covers food and beverage products, animal feed, dietary supplements, agricultural biotechnology, cosmetics, and veterinary biologics. As counsel to leading global brands and start-ups, Brian is adept at navigating every stage of the production and distribution lifecycle – from premarket clearance through manufacturing, advertising, labeling, recalls, and unanticipated regulatory scrutiny. He also regularly advises corporations and industry trade associations on strategies to shape federal and state policies and legislation.
Earlier in his career, Brian served as a regulatory lawyer at the USDA. Brian is keyed in to the increasingly complex and high-stakes regulatory environment confronting FDA- and USDA-regulated entities at both the federal and state levels. He is a frequent speaker on trending regulatory topics and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and a number of industry-leading publications.
- Advising USDA-regulated companies on compliance and enforcement issues arising under federal statutes administered by various USDA regulatory agencies, including the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), APHIS, Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the National Organic Program (NOP).
- Obtaining appropriate authorizations from USDA’s APHIS to facilitate the import, transit, and release of regulated animal products, veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, and genetically engineered organisms.
- Advising food, beverage, and dietary supplement companies on labeling and claims compliance, as well as corresponding consumer fraud or competitor litigation risks.
- Counseling food and beverage industry clients on regulatory obligations pursuant to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
- Counseling food and beverage companies through recalls and market withdrawals to stem business disruption, cost, and damage to brands.
- Advising restaurants and food companies regarding the new FDA menu labeling requirements.
- Providing strategic legislative and policy advice to trade associations and corporations concerning FDA- and USDA-regulated products.
- Preparing “Self-GRAS” positions on new food ingredients and additives.
- Preparing premarket filings for submission to the FDA and relevant global authorities to support regulatory clearances for novel food ingredients and substances used in food packaging materials and processing equipment (e.g., GRAS Notifications, Food Contact Notifications (FCN) and Requests for Letters of No objection (LNO).
- Conducting regulatory due diligence to support transactions involving acquisitions of companies that market USDA- and FDA-regulated products.
- Private law practice (2014-2018)
- Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, Marketing, Regulatory and Food Safety Programs Division (2009-2014)
- Private law practice (2008-2009)
- Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) (2019)
- Food and Drug Law Institute
- National Bar Association
- Vice President, Cornell Black Lawyers Alumni Network
- Board of Trustees, Harmony DC Public Charter Schools
News & Insights
- March 20, 2019 | Washington, DC | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTFDLI's Introduction to Food Law and RegulationBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- March 12, 2019 | ALERTBrian P. Sylvester
- March 12, 2019 | MEDIA MENTIONBrian Sylvester Quoted by Three Media Outlets on FDA-USDA Agreement to Jointly Oversee Cell-Based MeatIEG Policy, Food Navigator-USA, Inside Health Policy
- March 8, 2019 | MEDIA MENTIONNutra Ingredients-USA
- March 6, 2019 | MEDIA MENTIONBrian Sylvester Quoted Extensively on FDA Regulation of CBD-Infused Food, Beverage, and Dietary SupplementsFood Navigator-USA
- February 19, 2019 | ARTICLEFood Safety MagazineBrian P. Sylvester
- February 11, 2019 | MEDIA MENTIONFood Navigator-USA Quotes Brian Sylvester Extensively on Key Issues Affecting the Commercialization of Cell-Based MeatFood Navigator-USA
- February 7, 2019 | San Francisco, CA | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTThe Path to Allowing Cell-Based Meat to Come to Market Quickly Whilst Ensuring Safety & Consumer ConfidenceIndustrializing Cell-Based Meats 2019Brian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- January 22, 2019 | PRESS RELEASE
- January 3, 2019 | ALERTBrian P. Sylvester
- December 18, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONBrian Sylvester Provides 2019 Outlook for Cell-Cultured Meat, in ‘LEGAL VOX POP’ Feature on Top Regulatory Issues for Food ManufacturersFood Navigator-USA
- November 2018 | ARTICLESuccessful FarmingBrian P. Sylvester
- November 20, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONFood Navigator-USA
- November 12, 2018 | Digital Session | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTBiotech + Food = Future International Working Group: Regulation of Bioprinted FoodsGeorgetown UniversityBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- November 1, 2018 | San Francisco, CA | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTCMS18Brian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- October 30, 2018 | ARTICLELaw360Brian P. Sylvester
- October 16, 2018 | Chicago, IL | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTFood & Beverage ExchangeBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- October 3, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONThe Wall Street Journal
- September 26, 2018 | Washington, DC | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTFDLI's Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference: For the Food and Dietary Supplement IndustriesBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- September 25, 2018 | Washington, DC | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTFDLI's Introduction to Food Law and RegulationBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- September 14, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- September 12, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONFood Navigator-USA Quotes Brian Sylvester Extensively on Just-Announced FDA-USDA Meeting for Cell Cultured MeatFood Navigator-USA
- September 10, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- September 4, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- August 27, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- July 23, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONBrian Sylvester Quoted in Coverage of Ongoing FDA-USDA Turf Battle for Regulating Cell-Cultured FoodsInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- July 19, 2018 | ARTICLEFood and Drug Law Institute Update EXTRABrian P. Sylvester
- July 10, 2018 | MEDIA MENTIONInside Health Policy’s FDA Week
- July 2018 | ARTICLEABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee NewsletterBrian P. Sylvester
- July 1, 2018 | ARTICLEFood Safety NewsBrian P. Sylvester
- May 4, 2018 | ALERTKeith A. Matthews, Brian P. Sylvester
- April 19, 2018 | Denver, CO | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTCLE International Food Law ConferenceBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- April 11, 2018 | Washington, DC | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTFDLI's Introduction to US Food Law and RegulationBrian P. Sylvester, Speaker
- April 5, 2018 | ARTICLEProduct Stewardship & Sustainability UpdateBrian P. Sylvester
- January 29, 2018 | ARTICLELaw360Brian P. Sylvester
- August 25, 2017 | ARTICLELaw360Brian P. Sylvester
- October 12, 2016 | ARTICLELaw360Brian P. Sylvester
- March/April 2015 | ARTICLEFDLI UpdateBrian P. Sylvester
- March 3, 2015 | ARTICLEFood Safety MagazineBrian P. Sylvester, Co-Author