The National Agricultural Law Center will hold a webinar on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 12-1pm EDT, 9-10am PT, for law students throughout the United States with interest in pursuing a career in agricultural and food law. See here for details and to register.
By Diana Winters
A food law and policy career, especially for attorneys interested in working in the public interest sector, can take many shapes. Food policy work often intersects with other legal subject matters, such as housing, health care, education, and family law. For this reason, the Resnick Center has put together a digital guide to Careers in Public Interest Food Law and Policy to help law students and graduates understand the varied directions a public interest food law career can go, and how to embark upon such a career path.
Although the guide contains some resources specific to UCLA Law students, it also contains many more general resources, and will be useful to all law students and law school graduates seeking to explore public interest food law and policy careers.
We’re excited about this guide, and hope it can help grow our vibrant field.
The Resnick Center is collaborating with CLE International to present the fourth annual Food Law Conference at the UCLA Faculty Center on June 6 and 7, 2019. This conference brings together an amazing group of practitioners, regulators, academics, and stakeholders to present on numerous important food law topics, including standards and food fraud, preemption, and class actions. You can find the full brochure with a schedule of events here, and you can register here.
Please join us!
Yesterday, our colleague Eugene Volokh wrote at his blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, about a fascinating case involving the employee of a company that contracted to clean food processing plants. The employee threatened to release some damaging information about a food processing plant at which he had worked and his employer was granted a temporary restraining order to block this release. The court also granted the company’s request to seal the case. Volokh raises some super interesting questions, including whether it is appropriate for a dispute regarding the release of information that may seriously affect the public health to be litigated under seal, and the relevance of the allegation that the person seeking to release the information was looking to extort money in exchange for keeping the information secret.
The case is Packers Sanitation Services, Inc. v. Acosta, and you can read the blog post here.
I was pleased recently to approve a book cover sent to me by my colleagues at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) for my treatise, Food Law in the United States, (Cambridge University Press 2016), which has been translated into Chinese. The translation had been previously celebrated in a ribbon-cutting event hosted by ECUST and other colleagues in Shanghai during Spring Break in March. This event was followed by a very lovely reception by colleagues and friends to celebrate the nuptials between Nancy Walker (Professor of Education, University of La Verne) and me last December. We were honored by gracious speeches, gifts, and well wishes. We were especially honored that Mr. Xu Jihghe, General Counsel to FDA and good friend, wished us congratulations via Skype from Beijing.
My journey into food law in China has been a long and incredibly rewarding experience, punctuated by teaching and outreach. I began teaching food law in China a decade ago when I was practicing law in Washington D.C. Since then, thanks to academic appointments with ECUST, Renmin University School of Law, and Michigan State University School of Law, I have been fortunate to delve into China food law as an instructor. The outreach includes a series of food-law roundtables and conferences in China many of which have been sponsored by the UCLA Resnick Program on a variety of issues. I was pleased last year to join Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center in a series of roundtables at law schools in China to address the regulation of food safety on the farm.
All of these experiences have given me a unique perspective on the development of food law in China over the last decade and has engendered an appreciation for the role of law – no matter the legal or political system – in adapting to changing social conditions and improving the quality of living for all citizens. From where I sit, I am optimistic that China will continue to improve its food governance, notwithstanding the tremendous challenges facing China in the regulation of its food supply. I also remain cautiously optimistic and hopeful that the spirit of cooperation between the United States and China on food regulation that really took hold after the melamine scandals of 2007-08, involving pet food and infant formula, will rise above the recent political rancor coming from Washington D.C.