Brian Ronholm

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Brian Ronholm is the senior director of regulatory policy for the Food, Drug, Medical Device, and Agriculture group at Arent Fox LLP, a law firm founded in 1942 with a focus on pro bono and community work. Ronholm leverages his experience as the former deputy under secretary of food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He specializes in food safety regulation and policy, and provides clients with strategic advice on navigating regulatory challenges in the food and agriculture space.

During his time at USDA, Ronholm developed strategic frameworks and engaged in outreach activities to advance FSIS policies and initiatives impacting the meat, poultry, and processed egg industries. Prior to his appointment to the USDA, Ronholm worked for U.S. Rosa L. DeLauro,(D-CT, where he managed issues related to the House Agriculture-FDA Appropriations Subcommittee.

Latest Articles

Opinion During the recent Good Food Institute conference on cell-cultured meat, an industry executive remarked that he tries to stay away from politics and focus on his company and developing the technology. That certainly is an understandable approach, especially given the turbulent political climate we are experiencing.  However, considering that this emerging industry is the focus of so much attention and investment, and is attempting to disrupt the status quo while incurring the ire of…
The key to understanding the complexities in the debate over the line speed issue for poultry production is to recognize that there is a distinct difference between the line speed for slaughter and the line speed for processing in a facility. While slaughter line speed is currently limited to 140 birds per minute (bpm), except for certain facilities, there are no regulations that limit the line speed for processing itself where birds are cut up…
One significant provision in Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s most recent realignment announcement would move the U.S. Codex Office from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the newly created Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) office. While the move may seem inconsequential on the surface, this realignment will undermine the United States’ credibility in the international food policy arena, and represents yet another effort by the Trump Administration to emphasize trade goals at…
There is always a healthy amount of skepticism from parents whenever children claim they were able to clean their rooms in five minutes. While the children may have met the literal requirement of the parent’s request, you wonder what surprises would be discovered if you checked under the bed, in the closet or in the dressers. The parent often ends up having to verify each time that the room definitely has been cleaned. This scenario…
A seemingly minor component of the USDA reorganization plan released last week could have a negative impact on food safety as the plan gets implemented. Much of the focus has been on the creation of a new undersecretary for trade position, but the plan also calls for the establishment of an interagency committee that would coordinate agricultural trade policy. This committee would be chaired by the new trade undersecretary and would include, among other agencies,…
While it may appear safe to assume that President Trump will have no interest in these issues, determining his impact on the food safety agenda actually will require a nuanced effort. Notwithstanding the tweet complaining about the so-called “food police” and a leaked phone conversation about imposing stricter food safety standards for trade purposes, President Trump still could impact policy by virtue of his dining behavior, and previous assertions about food safety economics. Bill Marler,…
(This Aug. 14, 2014, blog post by Brian Ronholm, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, is reposted here with permission.) On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced new procedures that will allow the agency to trace contaminated ground beef back to its source more quickly, remove it from commerce, and identify the root cause to prevent it from happening…
You may have heard about the FSIS announcement this week that the Wolverine Packing Company in Detroit, MI, was recalling 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This recall is linked to 11 patients in four states. I wanted to provide an update on what FSIS is doing based on the evidence available. FSIS was notified of the first illness on May 8 and immediately began working…
(This May 16, 2014, blog post by Brian Ronholm, Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, is reposted here with permission.) As grilling season heats up, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is enhancing our food safety testing program for ground beef. While FSIS has a range of safeguards to reduce E. coli in ground beef, this summer we will begin new testing to improve the…