Susan Brienza

Of Counsel, Patton Boggs LLP (Denver)
"Nano labeling and consumers: Understanding or confusion/ FDA regulation or labeler's discretion? The cosmetic case study" 

    Susan D. Brienza, an Of Counsel in the Denver office of the Washington, D.C.-based firm Patton Boggs LLP, practices in the area of regulatory compliance. She focuses on the federal laws (FDA, USDA, and FTC) regulating the manufacture, labeling, marketing, and sales of: dietary supplements, “functional foods,” sports drinks, organic foods, cosmetics, “cosmeceuticals,” medical foods, OTC drugs, and homeopathic drugs. With a Ph.D. in 20th Century Literature, Dr. Brienza brings her proficiency in language and stylistics to her regulatory compliance practice to craft precise, permissible, and persuasive product descriptions and marketing claims. Her clients employ these claims in labels, brochures, and advertisements of their products, including website content, booth promotions, radio scripts, and infomercials. In addition, Dr. Brienza assists in litigation, with particular focus on product liability and false advertising cases. Her practice has also included white collar criminal defense work, and public policy/ legislative matters.

    After receiving her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1992 (as a second advanced degree), Susan Brienza clerked for federal judge Richard Matsch, 1992-1993, later to become Chief Judge of the District Court of Colorado, and also later to hear the infamous Oklahoma City bombing case. In her law career, she is a member of the: Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Nanotechnology Alliance (CNA), American Herbal Products Association – AHPA (1998-present), Government Relations Committee of AHPA (1999-present), and the American Botanical Council. Her honors include:

• Named a Colorado “Super Lawyer” in Health Care field (2006, 2007)
• Patton Boggs Pro Bono Award (1999)
• Colorado Women’s History Project Award (1997)

    A frequent speaker and author, Dr. Brienza writes a legal column for the Natural Foods Merchandiser, the major trade publication in the natural food and supplement industry, on topics such as the effective use of testimonials and endorsements in advertising. She also presents frequently at “nutraceuticals” conferences and trade shows: on topics such as the difference between supplements and medical foods, and between cosmetics and drugs. Dr. Brienza is especially interested in biotech and nanotechnology issues, and in particular in consumers’ interpretation and understanding of the terminology, benefits, and risks surrounding nanoscale products. She has written and presented on both FDA and EPA issues concerning nanotechnology—in particular, nanomaterials used in foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics; and on Agency policies and whether federal regulation will be proposed and implemented.