May 20, 2010

Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod, It’s Not a Small World After All: Regulating Obesity Globally

The Mississippi Law Journal is pleased to announce the publication of Professor Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod's article on regulating adult obesity globally.  "It’s Not a Small World After All: Regulating Obesity Globally" is a study of domestic and international regulatory efforts to curb obesity in adults.  The survey ranges from California, New York, and Mississippi statutory analysis to Spanish and Japanese reforms.  Recently, Professor Rodriguez-Dod presented her research and findings at the University of Mississippi School of Law as part of the Mississippi Law Journal's Speakers Bureau.  The article is available on SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1483171

Post by Donna M. Byrne, Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law

May 20, 2010 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2009

Ariana R. Levinson, Lawyers as Problem-Solvers One Meal at a Time: A Review of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Ariana R. Levinson (Louisville) has published Lawyers as Problem-Solvers One Meal at a Time: A Review of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, 15 Widener Law Review 289 (2009).

Abstract from SSRN: 

Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is a must-read for lawyers and legal scholars in the areas of food law, environmental law, agricultural law, and education law. Indeed, I recommend it to anyone interested in the future of the planet or our children. The over-arching point of Kingsolver's book is that Americans should eat more locally-grown food. Kingsolver's position is that eating locally-grown food promises to be part of the solution to several of the major problems facing us at the start of the 21st century, such as global warming and childhood obesity. Many of the issues that Kingsolver addresses are legal ones, and many of the implications of her arguments also bear on legal topics. This review discusses the legal issues raised by the book and provides annotation to relevant legal articles, including articles on increasing opportunities for food production in local economies; global warming; childhood obesity; the Federal Farm Bill; the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970; pesticide pollution and loss of wildlife habitat; lawsuits involving patented plant varieties; laws and regulations related to genetically modified foods; labeling laws governing Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin Hormone; proposals to reduce the public health risks of mad cow disease in the United States; green zoning; local ordinances governing community gardening; elimination of the regulatory quota system for tobacco; and the National Animal Identification System.

November 1, 2009 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2009

FDA Science Writers Symposium, November 4-5

From the FDA website:Logo2c
Writing About the Future of Public Health 

Science is a key foundation for the decisions FDA makes day on a wide-range of products affecting human and animal health—from the most common food ingredients, to complex medical and surgical devices, to lifesaving drugs.

The Second Annual Science Writers Symposium on November 4 and 5, 2009, will highlight how the FDA applies novel scientific approaches to critical public health issues and the products it regulates. The symposium, featuring a lab tour and presentations by FDA scientists, will give writers a unique insight into the evolving field of regulatory science with an eye towards generating potential story ideas.

November 4-5, 2009
FDA White Oak Campus
Silver Spring, MD 20993

September 20, 2009 in articles, Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 02, 2009

ABA Journal: Hungry for Change

The September 2009 issue of the American Bar Association Journal is highlighting food safety:

Hungry for Change
The feds consider a steady diet of stronger regulation to help fix the U.S. food safety network

by Kristin Choo

You could fill a shopping cart with foods recently linked to outbreaks of illness caused by contamination. In June, it was cookie dough. In May, it was alfalfa sprouts. Before that, it was pistachios, peanuts, spinach, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and, of course, hamburger.

Hardly a month goes by without Americans falling prey to another nasty pathogen lurking somewhere in the gleaming aisles, coolers and produce displays of the local supermarket. . . .

Read more

September 2, 2009 in articles, food safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2009

Race/ethnicity, family income and education associated with sugar consumption

From Eurekalert.com (Elsevier Health Sciences):

St. Louis, MO, August 1, 2009 – The intake of added sugars in the United States is excessive, estimated by the US Department of Agriculture in 1999-2002 as 17% of calories a day. Consuming foods with added sugars displaces nutrient-dense foods in the diet. Reducing or limiting intake of added sugars is an important objective in providing overall dietary guidance. In a study of nearly 30,000 Americans published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers report that race/ethnicity, family income and educational status are independently associated with intake of added sugars. Groups with low income and education are particularly vulnerable to eating diets with high added sugars.

There are differences within race/ethnicity groups that suggest that interventions aimed at reducing the intake of added sugars should be tailored to each group. Using data from adults (≥18 years) participating in the 2005 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement, investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD, and Information Management Services, Inc., Silver Spring, MD, analyzed responses to questions about added sugars. Both NCI and NHLBI are part of the National Institutes of Health.

Read the Eurekalert article

Go to the Abstract: Frances E. Thompson, Timothy S. McNeel, Emily C. Dowling, Douglas Midthune,  Meredith Morrissette,  Christopher A. Zeruto, Interrelationships of Added Sugars Intake, Socioeconomic Status, and Race/Ethnicity in Adults in the United States: National Health Interview Survey, 2005, J. Amer. Dietetic Assoc., Vol.109, Issue 8, Pages 1376-1383 (August 2009)

Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student Laura Bantle for this and many other tips!

August 12, 2009 in articles, Food culture, nutrition policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2009

Article: Salmonella in Produce -- Not Just From Eggs!

And speaking of salmonella (see yesterday's recall post), here's an interesting article from Foodborne Pathogens and Disease (published July 6, 2009, online ahead of print) examining the incidence of salmonella in produce. Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student, Laura Bantle, for finding this piece!
Abstract: 

Foodborne Salmonella spp. is a leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States each year. Traditionally, most cases of salmonellosis were thought to originate from meat and poultry products. However, an increasing number of salmonellosis outbreaks are occurring as a result of contaminated produce. Several produce items specifically have been identified in outbreaks, and the ability of Salmonella to attach or internalize into vegetables and fruits may be factors that make these produce items more likely to be sources of Salmonella. In addition, environmental factors including contaminated water sources used to irrigate and wash produce crops have been implicated in a large number of outbreaks. Salmonella is carried by both domesticated and wild animals and can contaminate freshwater by direct or indirect contact. In some cases, direct contact of produce or seeds with contaminated manure or animal wastes can lead to contaminated crops. This review examines outbreaks of Salmonella due to contaminated produce, the potential sources of Salmonella, and possible control measures to prevent contamination of produce.

Irene B. Hanning, J.D. Nutt, Steven C. Ricke. Salmonellosis Outbreaks in the United States Due to Fresh Produce: Sources and Potential Intervention Measures. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. July/August 2009, 6(6): 635-648. doi:10.1089/fpd.2008.0232

July 25, 2009 in articles, food safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2009

Richard L. Cupp -- Moving Beyond Animal Rights: A Legal/Contractualist Critique

Professor Richard L. Cupp, Jr. (Pepperdine), has published Moving Beyond Animal Rights: A Legal/Contractualist Critique, in the San Diego Law Review. The article articulates a contractualist approach to the question of legal personhood and rights for animals, asserting that both humans and animals would benefit from focusing on human responsibility for humane treatment of animals rather than focusing on the concept of rights for animals.

The article may be downloaded at: 

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1411863 
 

July 14, 2009 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2009

TIME Magazine on posting restaurant calorie info

Interesting piece on Time.com (June 29, 2009) on the restaurant calorie labeling issue:

Fast Food: Would You Like 1,000 Calories with That?, by Sean Gregory

How sloppy is that triple Whopper with cheese? It has 1,250 calories, or 62.5% of the recommended 2,000-calories-per-day diet. The Fried Macaroni and Cheese from the Cheesecake Factory? Try 1,570 calories — according to health experts, you're better off eating a stick of butter. . . .

To be fare, the cheesecake probably has more nutrients than the butter, and it tastes better, so there are psychic benefits.  I don't think calories are the whole story.  But the article looks interesting anyway.

DMB

July 1, 2009 in articles, Labeling, Legislation, nutrition policy, Obesity | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 29, 2009

ABA Section of Business Law: Food and The Law

The May/June 2009 issue of Business Law Today (the magazine of the ABA business law section), is all about Food!  Here's the Food portion of the table of contents for the online version (slightly different from the print edition):

Features

May 29, 2009 in articles | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 12, 2008

Nat'l Ag Law Center Call for Articles

The National Agricultural Law Center at U Arkansas is seeking articles for its agricultural law bibliography.  From the Ag law Center newsletter:

A major component of the Center's 2008 strategic plan is to significantly increase the number of publications authored by agricultural and food law specialists. The Center's efforts to digitize the over 7,000 entries of Agricultural Law Bibliography, to collect and publish Continuing Legal Education materials, and to commission articles have been fruitful, but to further implement this goal the Center is issuing a call for articles on relevant issues in agricultural and food law.  If you are interested in publishing an article of any length on the National Agricultural Law Center web site, or if you know of an author who might be interested, please contact us at nataglaw@uark.edu to express interest and to discuss publication terms and conditions.

December 12, 2008 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2008

Call for Papers -- Food, Law, and Culture

This post relates to three opportunities:

Panel presentations at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities in Boston April 3-4.  Deadline for abstracts: October 1, 2008.

Panel presentations at the Association for the Study of Food and Society. Conference details to be announced, (last year's conference was in June).

Essays suitable for publication in a volume on Food, Law, and Culture for publication with a major university press.

Here's the announcement from Chris Buccafusco (Illinois), Doris Witt (Iowa), and Amy Dillard (Baltimore):

The field of food studies has grown enormously over the last decade, as evidenced in part by the steadily increasing number of academics and professionals in the humanities, social and nutrition sciences, culinary arts, and hospitality studies who have become engaged in cross-disciplinary conversations about food.  Operating in tandem with the explosion of popular fascination with food, these conversations have been joined of late by academics, attorneys, and activists who are particularly concerned with the question of how our relationship to food is, has been, and should be, mediated through law.  In response to this emerging area of inquiry, we are soliciting both conference papers and publishable essays that integrate multidisciplinary scholarship in food studies with legal scholarship related to food in existing fields such as agricultural, constitutional, criminal, administrative, tort, intellectual property, and international trade law.  Among the questions we hope to answer are:  How might one account for the law’s varying treatment of food over time and/or cross-culturally?  What role does law play in shaping cultural ideas about food production, trade, and consumption?  And, inversely, what role does food play in shaping ideas about the law?

Initially we seek papers written from a variety of perspectives appropriate for presentation at one or both of the following conferences:  the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (Suffolk University Law School, Boston, April 3-4, 2009) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (details for the 2009 conference TBA on the ASFS website).  Although we aim to use these panels as a partial foundation for creating the edited collection, we are also happy to consider abstracts and articles from potential contributors who are unable to attend either ASLCH or ASFS.  Finished essays should be of a quality suitable for publication with an established university press and reasonably accessible to a multidisciplinary audience of scholars and students of the law, social sciences, and humanities, as well as interested readers outside the academy.  Topics can include, but are not limited to:

Intellectual property rights in food and recipes
Prison food, e.g., hunger strikes & force feeding, Nutraloaf
Last meals
Food torts, e.g. exploding sodas, fingers in chili, coffee in the lap
Regulation of food, alcohol, and/or obesity
Dietary laws and regulations in different cultures
History of dietary laws and regulations
Geographical indications of origin
Farm subsidies and international trade law
Linguistic classification of food, e.g., kosher, 1st Growths, Organic
Sumptuary laws
Famine and famine aid
Labeling, packaging, and branding
Rationing
Food stamps
Ethanol production and the food supply
Illegal food production, commerce, and consumption
Agricultural nuisance and zoning law
Food and environmental law

Please submit a paragraph author’s bio and an abstract of no more than 500 words to Doris Witt (doris-witt@uiowa.edu), Chris Buccafusco (cjb@law.uiuc.edu), AND Amy Dillard (adillard@ubalt.edu).  Abstracts for ASLCH are due by Oct. 1, 2008; abstracts for ASFS or for the essay collection alone are due by Jan. 15, 2009.  Please indicate clearly whether the abstract is for ASLCH, ASFS, the essay collection, or some combination thereof.  Finished essays should be approximately 10,000 words in length and will be due on or before January 1, 2010.

In advance of submitting an abstract, please feel free to contact Doris Witt, Christopher Buccafusco, or Amy Dillard with any questions about the conference panels or the essay collection.

September 9, 2008 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2008

A. Bryan Endres on Coexistence Strategies, The Common Law of Biotechnology and Economic Liability Risks

A. Bryan Endres  has published Coexistence Strategies, The Common Law of Biotechnology and Economic Liability Risks in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, Spring 2008.  The following is an excerpt from the introduction:

Many sectors of the global food/feed supply chain demand segregation of product into GM/GM-free pipelines. Success of these segregation efforts (also known as identity preservation) relies on coordinated operating procedures and marketing policies for all players in the supply chain. Failure at any stage could result in significant economic liability risks. A response to these risks is the development of a common law of agricultural biotechnology supplemented by regulatory and commercial strategies. This article examines developments in the regulatory arena and places them within the context of the common law of biotechnology.

Part I of this article provides background on the regulatory structures in the United States to mitigate the health, safety and environmental risks of genetic engineering in the agricultural context. Part II explores segregation efforts and economic liability risks, with particular attention paid to a case study of byproducts from the corn-derived ethanol process. Part III examines the government's role in crop segregation and common law development. The article concludes with observations regarding future economic liability risks and biotechnology-related litigation.

September 8, 2008 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2008

Open CRS Report: Safe Drinking Water Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

Safe Drinking Water Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

Abstract:

This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. It excerpts, with several additions, the SDWA chapter of CRS Report RL30798, Environmental Laws: Sumaries of Major Statues Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which provides summaries of the principal environmental statutes administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This report includes the drinking water security provisions added to the SDWA by the Public Heath Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188). The Safe Drinking Water Act, Title XIV of the Public Health Service Act, is the key federal law for protecting public water supplies from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974 and substantially amended in 1986 and 1996, the act is administered through programs that establish standards and treatment requirements for public water supplies, control underground injection of wastes, finance infrastructure projects, and protect sources of drinking water. The 1974 law established the current federal-state arrangement in which states may be delegated primary implementation and enforcement authority for the drinking water program. The state-administered Public Water Supply Supervision Program remains the basic program for regulating the nation's public water systems, and 49 states have assumed this authority. The last major reauthorization of the act was done through the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (P.L. 104-182), which generally authorized appropriations for SDWA programs through FY2003. As with other EPAadministered statutes having expired funding authority, Congress has continued to appropriate funds for the ongoing SDWA programs. In addition to reviewing key programs and requirements of the SDWA, this report includes statistics on the number and types of regulated public water systems. It also provides tables that list all major amendments, with the year of enactment and public law number, and that cross-reference sections of the act with the major U.S. Code sections of the codified statute.

June 21, 2008 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 27, 2008

Sam's Club and Costco rationing bulk rice

From CNN.com:

(AP) -- The two biggest U.S. warehouse retail chains are limiting how much rice customers can buy because of what Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., called on Wednesday "recent supply and demand trends."

The broader chain of Wal-Mart stores has no plans to limit food purchases, however.

The move comes as U.S. rice futures hit a record high amid global food inflation, although one rice expert said the warehouse chains may be reacting less to any shortages than to stockpiling by restaurants and small stores.

more

(Hat tip Bret Birdsong, UN Las Vegas)

April 27, 2008 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2008

Article: Litigating the Economic Effects of Biotech Crops

Thomas P. Redick (Global Environmental Ethics Counsel) and A. Bryan Endres (U. Illinois -- Agriculture) have published Litigating the Economic Effects of Biotech Crops, 22 SPG-Nat. Res. & Env't 24 (2008).  The article begins:

The past year has seen groundbreaking litigation in agricultural biotechnology that could make future U.S. federal regulatory approval for biotech crops more difficult to secure and leave clouds of potential liability for those crops that pass the federal approval hurdle. The hottest news in biotech crop regulation and liability is the pending litigation regarding the economic impacts of novel crop varieties approved for use in the United States. This looming threat of economic impact liability raises potential regulatory and commercial barriers to entry. If the final resolution of these cases requires consideration of potential economic impacts in addition to the existing health and environmental reviews conducted prior to regulatory approval, the bar will be raised not just for commercial marketing of biotech crops, but possibly for similar technologies (e.g., nanotechnology and chemicals) that enter the global marketplace and can cause analogous impacts (e.g., food recalls or environmental remediation).

This is primarily a tale of two pending cases--one federal case on appeal in California and another just getting started in St. Louis, Missouri--and the implications of this litigation. Biotech crop litigation also demonstrates how traditional common law tort theories of liability can be commingled with claims based on environmental law and regulation.

April 16, 2008 in articles, Biotech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 12, 2008

Bratspies on The American Approach to Regulating GMOs

Professor Rebecca Bratspies, (CUNY School of Law) has posted Some Thoughts on the American Approach to Regulating Genetically Modified Organisms, Kansas Journal of Law & Pubic Policy, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2007,  on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1017832

Abstract: A healthy society needs room for genuine dialogue, particularly over issues of how to evaluate and weigh risks to public safety. When citizens do not have confidence in the regulatory systems that purport to protect them, social trust breaks down. The lack of a transparent, well-organized regulatory system threatens public trust in biotechnology and more fundamentally in government itself. The success of agricultural biotechnology depends on society's willingness to accept and consume food produced via this technology. This willingness hinges on the level of trust that the technology is being developed and used in a safe manner. (abstract continues)

This needed trust is multilayered - the consumer must trust that the scientists know what they are doing in developing these crops, that the companies marketing and distributing the crops are operating in a legal and ethical manner, that the regulators are exercising proper oversight, that the farmers are obeying the regulations, and that the consumer is not being lied to or misled. The presence or absence of trust dramatically affects communications about and perceptions of risk. As a result, a credible oversight scheme and trust in the institutions promoting and overseeing agricultural biotechnology may be the single biggest predictors of public acceptance of this technology

Because the development, production and marketing of GM crops requires the activities of so many different parties, there are multiple levels on which this process can break down, creating suspicion and mistrust. This article explores fundamental questions about the relationship between transparency, trust and acceptability of risk and makes some recommendations about the role that public voices should play in regulatory policy.

February 12, 2008 in articles, GMOs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2007

Video -- Jim Chen on Beyond Food and Evil

Jim Chen has posted a RealPlayer video of his Duke Law Journal Administrative Law symposium presentation of Beyond Food and Evil (blogged here) on the Agricultural Law Blog.  The presentation was delivered via videoconference after Jim's flight was cancelled.  I don't actually know whether that's the only reason the digital version exists, but if so, what a lucky break for the rest of us!  Click here to go to the Agricultural Law post and view the video.

November 17, 2007 in articles, GMOs, Labeling, Organics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2007

Jim Chen posts Beyond Food and Evil

Jim Chen (Louisville) has posted Beyond Food and Evil, Duke Law Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1581, 2007  , on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The mass marketing of foods derived from organisms modified through recombinant DNA technology has put extreme pressure on the interpretation and implementation of the United States' basic food safety law, the venerable Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. In its classic form, the FD&CA reflects its Progressive and New Deal roots. It vests enormous trust in a specialized agency, the Food and Drug Administration, which is presumed to have nonpareil expertise over food safety. The political reality of GM foods, however, has placed the FD&CA and its implementation by the FDA in severe tension with the Organic Foods Production Act and with commercial speech doctrine.

Fear about food is one of the most deeply seated forms of behavioral protection against the natural world. It is precisely here, where food comes into contact with notions of good and evil, that the classic regulatory state must take its stand. The FDA's regulation of foods using rDNA technology upholds the best of the Progressive regulatory tradition and deserves to survive the challenge posed by the OFPA, the revived commercial speech doctrine, and contemporary consumer distrust of governmentally supervised review of science and safety.

November 5, 2007 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jim Chen on trade policy considerations

Jim Chen (Prolific blogger, and Dean, University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ) spoke at Arkansas on his article, Around the World in Eighty Centiliters, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-28 ;Minnesota Journal of International Law, Vol. 15, p. 11, 2006 . (Posted on SSRN here).  Here is the abstract:

The production, marketing, and delivery of beverages are enterprises so vast that fully to comprehend [them] would require an almost universal knowledge ranging from geology, biology, chemistry and medicine to the niceties of the legislative, judicial and administrative processes of government. Queensboro Farm Prods., Inc. v. Wickard, 137 F.2d 969, 975 (2d Cir. 1943). So extensive are the legal complexities at issue that the typical North American coffee service traverses nearly the entire range of allocative and redistributive considerations within the law of trade. A simple carafe of coffee, with cream and sugar on the side, vividly illustrates the tradeoff between comparative advantage and redistributive goals in the formation of trade policies.

And here is a link to Susan Schneider's (Arkansas Agricultural Law LLM Director) Agricultural Law Blog post on Chen's work and sugar policy in general:  How Sweet it is.

November 5, 2007 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2007

Ariana Levinson on Lawyers as Problem Solvers One Meal at a Time

Ariana R. Levinson (University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law ) has posted Lawyers as Problem Solvers One Meal at a Time: a Review of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Mineral, Vegetable on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is a must-read for lawyers and legal scholars in the areas of food law, environmental law, agricultural law, and education law. Indeed, I recommend it to anyone interested in the future of the planet or our children. The over-arching point of Kingsolver's book is that Americans should eat more locally-grown food. Kingsolver's position is that eating locally-grown food promises to be part of the solution to several of the major problems facing us at the start of the 21st century, such as global warming and childhood obesity. Many of the issues that Kingsolver addresses are legal ones, and many of the implications of her arguments also bear on legal topics. This review discusses the legal issues raised by the book and provides annotation to relevant legal articles, including articles on increasing opportunities for food production in local economies; global warming; childhood obesity; the Federal Farm Bill; the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970; pesticide pollution and loss of wildlife habitat; lawsuits involving patented plant varieties; laws and regulations related to genetically modified foods; labeling laws governing Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin Hormone; proposals to reduce the public health risks of mad cow disease in the United States; green zoning; local ordinances governing community gardening; elimination of the regulatory quota system for tobacco; and the National Animal Identification System.

October 22, 2007 in articles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack