According to a new report co-authored by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. consumers and businesses throw out billions of pounds of food every year due to confusion caused by America’s food expiration date labeling practices.
With national attention focused on the obesity epidemic and the diabetes crisis—along with rapidly growing concerns about social justice and environmental problems related to the current food-production system—there may be no hotter topic in law schools right now than food law and policy. The wildly popular new Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, the first law school clinic of its kind in the world, is right at the center, with students working on a wide range of projects to make healthy food more accessible, help farmers’ markets overcome regulatory barriers so they can sell more of their products, guide states and local communities in creating food policy councils, and more.
The dispute over raw milk has become one of the most heated debates in the food law community over the last several years—proponents and opponents alike have even staged protests at the White House. Raw milk is currently illegal in 22 states. On Feb. 16, the Harvard Food and Law Society staged a debate on the issue at Harvard Law School.
The Harvard Food Law Society recently co-sponsored “TEDxHarvardLaw,” a full-day conference held on Oct. 21, focused on food policy and public health, and the legal and policy approaches to increasing the supply and demand of healthy foods. The campus-wide event was independently organized and co-sponsored by 18 different HLS organizations under the auspices of TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
Harvard Law School’s Health Law and Policy Clinic at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center has been awarded a two-year grant of $200,000 from the Ford Foundation to support the clinic’s leading-edge work in health care law and policy reform.