Lecturer on Law Emily Broad Leib, the director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, was awarded a research grant in the inaugural year of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund. Broad Leib’s project, “Reducing Food Waste as a Key to Addressing Climate Change,” was one of seven chosen to confront the challenge of climate change using the levers of law, policy, and economics, as well as public health and science.
This fall, Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow and Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, issued the “Deans’ Food System Challenge” (one of several competitions held by the Harvard Innovation Lab and sponsored by Harvard Schools), encouraging students across the university to come up with fresh ideas for solving complex problems facing our food system.
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.