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
A former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulatory lawyer, Brian provides emerging and established companies in the food, beverage, and agricultural biotechnology sectors with practical solutions to complex regulatory challenges.
Brian draws on nearly a decade of combined public-and private-sector industry experience to help his clients achieve their business objectives for a range of commodities regulated by the USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as analogous state and global regulatory bodies. He has particular experience navigating every stage of the production and distribution lifecycle – from premarket clearance through manufacturing, distribution, advertising, and labeling. In addition, Brian regularly advocates for clients facing USDA Notices of Violations, FDA Warning Letters, and other actual or threatened enforcement actions. He also regularly counsels corporations and industry trade associations on strategies to shape federal and state policies and legislation. Brian is keyed in to the increasingly complex and high-stakes regulatory environment confronting the food, beverage, and agricultural biotechnology sectors, and has both authored and been quoted in a number of articles on trending regulatory topics in 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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