UCLA, Harvard Law Schools launch joint annual conference on food law and policy

HLS ShieldUCLA School of Law and Harvard Law School have announced the inauguration of the UCLA-Harvard Food Law and Policy Conference, a joint annual conference that will focus on issues in the food system from a legal perspective. The conference will alternate each year between Los Angeles and Cambridge.

The conference is intended to provide a forum in which leading scholars and policymakers can offer expert perspectives on complex food law and policy questions and options for reform. The first conference will be held on October 24 and 25, 2014 in Los Angeles and will focus on transparency in the global food system.

The joint undertaking brings together two of the nation’s leading law schools with a dedicated focus on food law and policy.

“At a time when food supply is increasingly under pressure, and when globalization and trade agreements are bringing more food products across more borders than ever before, issues of access, safety, health and security require imagination and expertise” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “How terrific that our leading experts here at Harvard will collaborate with our colleagues at UCLA on vital research and conferences, generating and sharing ideas and insights to strengthen access to the most fundamental human need for safe and healthy food.”

“Food is part of the universal human condition. We launched the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy to give voice to consumers and to ensure that their concerns are fully addressed,” said UCLA School of Law Dean Rachel F. Moran. “We look forward to combining our resources with The Food Law Lab at Harvard Law School to make certain that these issues gain the broad visibility and careful consideration that they deserve.”

At the first conference, “Transparency in the Global Food System: What Information and to What Ends?,” participants will examine the meaning of transparency in the global distribution of food, the ways in which consumers currently use available information, and the promise and limitations of providing more information to consumers.

The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law, founded in August 2013, is dedicated to studying and advancing solutions for improving the modern food system. Covering a wide range of local, national and global food policy topics and issues, the program seeks solutions in support of a food system that embodies the values of equity, transparency and accountability and that yields improved health and sustainability outcomes for all. By leveraging its location in Los Angeles, the program examines the ways in which the modern food system shapes consumers’ physical, economic and social and environmental health.

The Food Law Lab, Harvard Law School, founded in the Fall of 2013, is a locus for academic research and teaching on the legal and regulatory issues pertaining to food.  The Lab is housed at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. The Food Law Lab supports an interdisciplinary research agenda to further our understanding of the full range of connections between law and food in society.  For more information, visit thefoodlawlab.org.