Baby Food Standard & Certification

Committees

 

Created in January 2019 in partnership with Cornell University and the Environmental Defense Fund, the Baby Food Council (“Council”) is a group of infant and toddler food companies, supported by key stakeholders, seeking to reduce heavy metals in the companies’ products to as low as reasonably achievable using best-in-class management practices.

The responsibilities of the Oversight Committee are to:

  • Assure credible execution of the Baby Food Standard and Certification Program.
  • Provide oversight and strategic direction regarding the scope and development and growth of the Standard.
  • Appoint and manage technical, communication, and other committees.
  • Approve all public releases of documents and communications related to the standard.

 

Current members (this section still under construction)

Tom Neltner – Chemicals Policy Director, Health

Environmental Defense Fund

Tom Neltner is the Environmental Defense Fund’s Chemicals Policy Director. He leads efforts to remove or minimize hazardous chemicals from products and the marketplace through cross-cutting policy initiatives. His primary focus is on food additive safety and reducing exposure to lead in our homes and communities. He is a chemical engineer and attorney with experience in chemical safety issues in the workplace, the environment, the home, consumer products, and food. Tom has worked on lead poisoning prevention at the federal, state and local levels for more than 20 years. He served on EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for eight years and played a leading role in an EPA-convened, multi-stakeholder workgroup that made recommendations to the agency to upgrade its lead in drinking water regulations. He has worked in chemical, food additive, pesticide, and pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as state government and public interest advocacy with stints as an adjunct professor at Indiana University through many of those years. He is a Healthy Homes Specialist, Certified Hazardous Materials Manager and elected Fellow of the National Institute for Hazardous Materials Managers.

 


 

Debra Oglesby – Division Assistant Director of Food Laboratory

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets | Food Laboratory Division

Debra Oglesby holds a BS in Environmental Chemistry from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She has been the Assistant Director of the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Food Laboratory since 2004. She also serves as Principal Investigator (PI) and the Technical Program Manager (TPM) for the USDA cooperative agreement Pesticide Data Program, a position she has held since 2003. Debbie has worked in the Food Laboratory since 1988 and her work has been primarily focused on pesticide analysis in foods.

 


 

Jason Rosecast – Vice President of Quality & Food Safety

Happy Family Organics

Jason is the Vice President of Quality & Food Safety for Happy Family Organics.  With a background in agronomy, analytical chemistry and a B.S. in Chemistry from Boise State University, Jason has been working in the space of growing and processing safe & healthy foods for over a decade.  In his work, Jason focuses on a data-driven approach to food safety controls & continuous improvement across the industry.

 


 

Maria Ishida, PhD, CPN – Division Director of Food Laboratory

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets | Food Laboratory Division

Maria Ishida holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Federal University of Parana (Brazil). She started her public health career as molecular biologist and was, over the years, promoted to management positions at Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In 2007, she accepted the Bureau Chief of Food Laboratories position. While in Florida, Dr. Ishida managed the only statewide regulatory laboratory responsible for testing retail and manufactured food collected throughout the state. In addition, Dr. Ishida oversaw projects, BSL-2 and BSL-3 exercises under Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and cooperative agreements with federal agencies (FDA and USDA). By the time Dr. Ishida joined the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Food Laboratory in 2015, she brought to the table her experience acquired in Florida and continued to manage a regulatory laboratory responsible for testing industrial hemp, human and animal food for the entire New York state. She is very active on several public health workgroups and committees within FERN, Partnership for Food Protection (PFP), APHL, Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) as a subject expert manner.

The responsibilities of the Technical Committee are to:

  • Develop and revise the Baby Food Standard and Certification Program to fulfill its stated purpose.
  • Ensure technical credibility of the standard.
  • Develop materials to assist stakeholders in understanding and fulfilling the purpose of the standard.

 

Current members (this section still under construction)

Todd DeKryger, PhD. – North American Regional Manager, Sustainable Agricultural Development

Nestlé Infant Nutrition 

Todd DeKryger is North American Regional Manager for Sustainable Agricultural Development for Nestlé Infant Nutrition in Fremont, Michigan.  Amongst other things, his duties include developing agricultural policy for Gerber and providing leadership on infant food contaminant and agricultural sustainability issues. He is a three-time Michigan State Spartan, earning a BS from the Department of Horticulture, a MS from the Department of Entomology and a PhD from the Department of Community Sustainability.

 


 

Arthur Villordon – Professor, Sweet Potato Research Station

LSU AgCenter

Arthur Villordon is based at the Louisiana State University AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station. He uses an integrative approach to sweet potato production research that focuses on storage root formation as key to the testing and development of management practices for increased production efficiency, food safety, and reduced impact on the environment. Central to this integrative approach is the consideration of root system architecture as an integrator of internal, environmental, and management determinants of storage root yield, quality, and shape attributes. The long-term goal is to develop tools for manipulating root system architecture for increased nutrient efficiency and resilient sweet potato yields for fresh and processing markets under diverse and changing environments.

 


 

Boma Brown-West – Director, Safe & Healthy Products

Environmental Defense Fund

Boma leads EDF’s corporate engagement to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and create a safer marketplace. She works closely with major retailers and consumer brands, advocating for smart chemical policies, ambitious corporate sustainability programs and increased value chain transparency. She launched EDF’s Five Pillars for Safer Chemicals Leadership and SustainaBuy: The Future of Sustainable E-Commerce. Prior to joining EDF in 2013, Boma worked for a decade at Whirlpool Corporation. There, she played a driving role in establishing Whirlpool’s North American sustainability strategy and working with industry colleagues to create the region’s first ever appliance sustainability standards. Boma has an M.S. in Technology & Policy from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.

 

 


 

David Gould – Global Head, Sustainability Programs

FoodChain ID

David Gould is Global Head of Sustainability Programs for FoodChain ID. He is a food scientist by training with a degree in Life Sciences from MIT. He has been involved in the food and agriculture sector for the past 25 years and has worked on issues of genetic engineering and its effects on health and ecology since 1996. David was one of the originators of non-GMO standards and certification programs and has stayed closely involved in their development globally throughout their development. Working across a range of sustainability schemes, he has inspected and/or certified thousands of farms, processing facilities, and other value chain actors on 6 continents, and contributed to the formation of numerous standards and policies in addition to non-GMO, including organic, fair trade, fisheries, and non-food agriculture-based sectors. He has and continues to train and consult globally to the private sector and government agencies on sustainable development, quality assurance, policy reform, and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining FoodChain ID at the beginning of 2019, David spent the previous 7 years as Senior Facilitator for IFOAM – Organics International, where he was instrumental in elaborating best practices in agriculture, its value chains, and the forward trajectory of the organic movement. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also spent various years as owner of a small food processing business and a permaculture farm.

 


 

Emily Griep, Ph.D. – Manager, Food Safety

United Fresh Produce Association

United Fresh Produce Association is a national trade association with over 1600 members at the forefront of the fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. The United Fresh food safety team works collaboratively with industry members, produce safety researchers, and regulatory representatives alike to ensure consumer’s continued access to safe, nutritious produce. As Manager, Food Safety, Emily leads various initiatives to support the association’s scientific and policy objectives, including the development of technical resources and leadership in produce safety training efforts on topics such as the Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard, FSMA implementation, and outbreak response. Emily earned her Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in Food Safety for a Global Economy. She has previously worked for General Mills after earning her B.S. in Food Science & Technology from Iowa State University.

 


 

Greg Bird – Executive Director

Michigan Vegetable Council & the Michigan Onion Committee 

Greg is the Executive Director of the Michigan Vegetable Council and the Michigan Onion Committee.  Greg recently migrated the home offices of the businesses from Mason, MI to St Johns, MI.  The Michigan Vegetable Council is one of two organizations which hosts the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids, MI each December.  The Michigan Onion Committee manages the onion assessments levied each year in Michigan.  Greg has a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University.

 


 

Jason Rosecast – Vice President of Quality & Food Safety

Happy Family Organics

Jason is the Vice President of Quality & Food Safety for Happy Family Organics.  With a background in agronomy, analytical chemistry and a B.S. in Chemistry from Boise State University, Jason has been working in the space of growing and processing safe & healthy foods for over a decade.  In his work, Jason focuses on a data-driven approach to food safety controls & continuous improvement across the industry.

 


 

Robert Harvey – Technical Services Director

Beech-Nut Nutrition Company

Robert is an analytical chemist and chemical engineer by education and training. Robert has been working at Beech-Nut for 35 years conducting raw material testing for heavy metals and pesticide residues, including some field work with root and ground crops and soil testing. Robert has been the companies process authority since 1991 and has developed the HACCP and Food Safety plans where they identified heavy metals as a hazard for infants.

 

The responsibilities of the Communications Committee are to:

  • Develop communications and related materials for Baby Food Standard and Certification Program.
  • Communicate to stakeholder groups, public and consumers.
  • Develop a product logo brands can use to identify products that comply with the standard.

 

Current members (this section still under construction)

Jessica Dickstein – Vice President, Marketing

Happy Family Organics

Jessica Dickstein currently leads the Marketing Communications team at Happy Family Organics, the market leader in organic baby food. She has over 15 years of experience in global product development, brand management, marketing research, and communications across organic food and early childhood development categories. Most recently, Jessica led Happy Family Organics’ first consumer-centric campaign to educate on the benefits of regenerative agriculture (reaching 50M parents) and accelerate adoption of practices within the baby food industry. Jessica holds a BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis and is certified by Cornell in Maternal & Infant Nutrition.

 


 

Natalie McKeon – Manager, Marketing & Communications, New York, NY

EDF+Business 

Natalie McKeon is a Marketing and Communications Manager with EDF+Business, Environmental Defense Fund’s corporate engagement program, where she drives strategic communications. Natalie works to build thought leadership, manage media relations and carry out social media and content development.