Event at UCLA Law: Suing Monsanto: How a Team of Lawyers Won a Verdict Linking the Herbicide Roundup to Cancer

October 25, 2018

You may remember the interview we did about a month ago with Michael Baum and Pedram Esfandiary from the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.  The firm represents approximately 700 plaintiffs in lawsuits against Monsanto alleging that the plaintiffs’ exposure to the Roundup herbicide caused them or a loved one to contract non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Shortly after this interview, one of these state cases proceeded through trial, and a jury in San Francisco returned a verdict of $289.2 million against Monsanto, including $250 million in punitive damage.  (A few days ago, a California judge upheld the verdict but cut the award to $78 million.) Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman was co-lead trial counsel in this case.

On December 31, 2018, from 12:15-1:30pm, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy at UCLA Law will co-sponsor a lunchtime event that will feature attorneys Michael BaumPedram Esfandiary and Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, PC discussing their lawsuits against Monsanto.

Michael Roberts, Executive Director of the Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy, will provide opening remarks and Cara Horowitz, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment will moderate the discussion.

DATE/TIME/LOCATION:

October 31, 2018

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Room 1347

UCLA Law Building

385 Charles E Young Dr E

Los Angeles, CA 90095

Lunch will be provided for all registered guests.

RSVP:

Please register here by October 26, 2018.

SPEAKERS:

Opening remarks: Michael Roberts, Executive Director, Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law

  • Michael Baum (UCLA J.D. ’85), Attorney, Managing Partner, President, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, PC;
  • Brent Wisner, Attorney, Partner, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, PC;
  • Pedram Esfandiary, Attorney, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, PC;
  • Moderator: Cara Horowitz, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law

Regeneration: Los Angeles Food Policy Council Discusses Healing and Transforming the Food System

Last week, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) held a community networking event on the concept of regeneration, a broad idea that addresses healing and transforming our food system, and encompasses health, access, human rights, social justice, and animal welfare.  In its description of the event, the LAFPC wrote, “At LAFPC, we envision regeneration as a paradigm shift–one that goes beyond extraction, beyond inputs and outputs and even beyond sustainability. To be regenerative, our food systems need to not only feed people, but restore our planet. Regenerative food systems give birth to new opportunities for transforming our earth, our communities and the people who inhabit them.”

The program included talks by Clare Fox, the Executive Director of the L.A. Food Policy Council, and Gunnar Lovelace, the co-founder and co- CEO of Thrive Market, an online wholesale buying club for organic and natural foods, and “learning hubs,” which divided the attendees into small groups to discuss how regeneration resonated with various aspects of the food system.

The concept of regeneration goes beyond “organic,” “clean,” “natural,” and even beyond “sustainable,” and the conversation at the event ranged from how to indicate such a concept to consumers, to how to create incentives for big agriculture to embrace regeneration, and whether change would start at the individual or systemic level, or both.

To see more LAFPC events, see their website, here.

State regulation and the precautionary principle – comments open

Check out this interesting article published in the New York Times’ Sunday Review yesterday.  It discusses the role of the states in regulating a class of chemicals called PFAS chemicals, which include PFOA and PFOS.  Washington State recently banned firefighting foam and food packaging containing the entire class of chemicals even without definitive research showing the effect of all of these chemicals on the human body.  The article notes federal inaction on these chemicals and supports Washington State’s approach as a way to avoid scattershot regulation that leads to the substitution of other harmful chemicals for those banned.

The tension between regulating based on the precautionary principle and regulating only after all of the evidence is one we see often in the food arena.  Thoughts?

Bringing Sustainable Plant-Based Eating to the Planet–David Yeung talks at UCLA Law

by Cheryl Leahy, The Initiative on Animals in Our Food System, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy

The Initiative on Animals in Our Food System at the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy hosted a discussion with David Yeung titled, “Bringing Sustainable Plant-Based Eating to the Planet: The Entrepreneurship, Investment, and Philanthropy of Hong Kong’s David Yeung and Green Monday” on March 6th at UCLA. Mr. Yeung is an award-winning social entrepreneur whose companies, Green Monday, Green Common, and Green Monday Ventures, take different approaches to solving the same problem – how to bring sustainable vegan eating to the planet. He jokingly nicknamed his companies the “Swiss army knife” of green and sustainable eating, for the diversity and efficacy of their approaches.

Mr. Yeung presented historical and factual background on the environmental and health impacts of animal agriculture and consumption and explained how he himself learned about the enormous effects the production of meat for human consumption has on the earth. He explained how cultural and market forces can be key tools in achieving change, an understanding of which led him to the launching of his companies.

Mr. Yeung imagined Green Monday as a way to reach a broad audience, asking people to reduce their animal product consumption at least one day per week as an intermediary stepping-stone to an increased reduction. Green Monday and its related companies accomplish this by partnering with institutions, including schools, restaurants, and corporations, as well as by running storefront sales showcasing plant-based foods from around the world, and by investing in and developing vegan companies and products. Since its inception six years ago, Green Monday’s reach has grown to 33 countries, with 1.6 million participants in its Hong Kong home.

David Yeung at UCLA Law

The Initiative on Animals in Our Food System at the Resnick program for Food Law and Policy, Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment, Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law & Policy, UCLA Food Law Society, and UCLA Environmental Law Society invite you to hear David Yeung on Bringing Sustainable Plant-Based Eating to the Planet.  At this event, Mr. Yeung will discuss investing in and launching vegan businesses, exploring investment factors, unique problems, and legal and practical issues.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

12:15-1:15pm

NEW LOCATION:      W.G. Young Hall, Room CS76

UCLA South Campus (across from Parking Structure 2)

 

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