November 02, 2009

Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy

I was a member of a panel on Food Imports a couple weeks.  I wish I had read this book first.  The blurb below is from the publisher.  I haven't read the book yet, but it's on my must read list. -- DMB

Import Safety  Edited by Cary Coglianese, Adam M. Finkel, and David Zaring

224 pages | 6 x 9 | 20 illus.
Cloth Dec 2009 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4222-5 | $42.50s | £28.00 | Add to
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On World Food Day in October 2008, former president Bill Clinton finally accepted decade-old criticism directed at his administration's pursuit of free-trade deals with little regard for food safety, child labor, or workers' rights. "We all blew it, including me when I was president. We blew it. We were wrong to believe that food was like some other product in international trade." Clinton's public admission came at a time when consumers in the United States were hearing unsettling stories about contaminated food, toys, and medical products from China, and the first real calls were being made for more regulation of imported products. Import Safety comes at a moment when public interest is engaged with the subject and the government is receptive to the idea of consumer protections that were not instituted when many of the Clinton era's free-trade pacts were drafted.

Written by leading scholars and analysts, the chapters in Import Safety provide background and policy guidance on improving consumer safety in imported food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and toys and other products aimed at children. Together, they consider whether policymakers should approach import safety issues through better funding of traditional interventions—such as regulatory oversight and product liability—or whether this problem poses a different kind of governance challenge, requiring wholly new methods

Cary Coglianese is Associate Dean of Penn Law, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania. Adam M. Finkel is Fellow and Executive Director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania. David Zaring, also with the Penn Program on Regulation, is Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

November 2, 2009 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2009

Book-- Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Richard Wrangham

Since I like very few raw foods, this is a book I will want to read:

Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Publisher's abstract:

Ever since Darwin and The Descent of Man, the existence of humans has been attributed to our intelligence and adaptability. But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. In a groundbreaking theory of our origins, Wrangham shows that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution. When our ancestors adapted to using fire, humanity began. Once our hominid ancestors began cooking their food, the human digestive tract shrank and the brain grew. Time once spent chewing tough raw food could be used instead to hunt and to tend camp. Cooking became the basis for pair bonding and marriage, created the household, and even led to a sexual division of labor. Tracing the contemporary implications of our ancestors’ diets, Catching Fire sheds new light on how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. A pathbreaking new theory of human evolution, Catching Fire will provoke controversy and fascinate anyone interested in our ancient origins—or in our modern eating habits.

Read a review and interview with the author on

August 22, 2009 in Books | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 15, 2009

Book: The End of Overeating, by David A. Kessler

Kessler Here's the next book I want to read, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by former FDA Commissioner Dr. David A. Kessler.  The Wall Street Journal did a book review and interview with Dr. Kessler:

. . . He interviews the overweight, who say that just the sight of a favorite snack food is enough to make them feel hungry, as well [as] anonymous food executives who admit that fat, salt and sugar are often the building blocks of successful food products. The book was prompted by a question that had long nagged Dr. Kessler: Why is it that Americans continue to crave such foods as potato chips and candy bars long after they feel full? "No one has ever explained what's happening to them and how they can control their eating," he writes. "That's my goal in this book."

Of course, I'll have to remove the dust jacket -- the mere sight of that piece of carrot cake is likely to make me hungry all day long.  Interestingly, the farm fresh carrots just don't have the same effect.  DMB

July 15, 2009 in Books, nutrition policy, Obesity | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2008

New: European Food Law Handbook

Just published:

European Food Law Handbook, by Eu_food_law_4 B. v.d. Meulen and M. v.d. Velde (Wageningen, Netherlands)

2008, 632 pages, hardback

The first decade of the twenty-first Century has witnessed a fundamental reform of European food law. We have now come to the point where modern EU food law has taken shape. This 'European food law handbook' is written in the perspective of food law embedded within general EU law. It highlights the consequences of this combination and provides insights in both substantive and procedural food law.

This handbook analyses and explains the institutional, substantive and procedural elements of EU food law, taking the General Food Law as a focus point. Principles are discussed as well as specific rules addressing food as a product, the processes related to food and communication about food through labelling. These rules define requirements on subjects like market approval for food additives, novel foods and genetically modified foods; food hygiene, tracking & tracing, withdrawal & recall. The powers of public authorities to enforce food law and to deal with incidents are set out. Attention is given to the international context (WTO, Codex Alimentarius) as well as to private standards.

The 'European food law handbook' is produced in co-operation with the European Institute for Food Law and is relevant for practitioners and scholars both with and without a background in law. It is ideal for education purposes.

September 11, 2008 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2008

Interview with Paul Roberts, The End of Food

Go to Washington for an online discussion with Paul Roberts, author of The End of Food.  Here's the intro:

Paul Roberts: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining the online discussion for my book, The End of Food. I'll admit, the title seems more prescient today than when I began writing the book in 2005. At that time, the "end" I was referring to was more figurative -- the end of a golden era in food, when each year brought steady and seemingly automatic improvements in our food supply, in every from lower costs to better safety and convenience. Given the problems we were having with issues such as food borne illness, nutrition, and obesity, it seemed we had come to an end in our confidence in that food system. Since then, however, with food prices rising, and with renewed concerns about feeding a future population that will not only be larger, but rich enough to eat higher up the food chain, the question seems a bit more literal. In any case, the subject is a provocative one, and to judge by the number of questions received already, is provoking a lively discussion.


August 21, 2008 in Books | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008

Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Heart Disease --not connected

This is a video of a presentation to British Medical Association last November.  The presenter is a physician, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.  He presents data about saturated fat, blood cholesterol, and heart disease and makes a very credible and compelling argument that eating saturated fat does not cause heart disease and that high blood cholesterol does not predict heart disease.There are 5 parts to Dr. Kendrick's presentation. If the embedded video doesn't work, here's the YouTube link: 

March 11, 2008 in Books, Dieting, nutrition policy, Obesity, Scientific studies | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

What the World Eats -- Hungry Planet Photo Essay and book

The book, Hungry Planet, shows photos of families around the world with the food they eat.  (I remember a similar presentation of people's stuff.)  Time/CNN has a photo essay on their website with photos from the book.  It's pretty interesting.  Our expensive western diet comes in colorful packages, while the less expensive third world diets evidently require cooking skills that I would still find challenging! 

Take a look!  Time/CNN photo essay

Hungry Planet book (Ten Speed Press)

January 10, 2008 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2006

Book: Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink

The next book on my to-read list is Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink (Cornell, Marketing).  The book describes the findings of scientific studies on the external cues that affect how we choose to eat.  The findings will mesh well, I think, with public health experts' ideas about environmental effects on health, such as Kelly Brownell's (Yale, Psychology) Toxic Environment work, as well as Jon Hanson's (Harvard Law) work on behaviorialism -- the notion that how we behave is a result much more of external cues than of any inherent disposition. 

December 17, 2006 in Behaviorism, Books, Dieting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack