Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A forum for thoughts on food law -- past, present and future


My name is Michaela Oldfield, I am the Global Food Law research fellow with the Michigan State University Global Food Law program. This blog is a place for GFL faculty and students and the Institute for Food Laws and Regulations (IFLR) faculty and students to share thoughts and ideas on food law issues.

Michaela Oldfield
The goal of this blog is to have a space for students and alums of the program to expand their education on global food law by providing a forum for summaries and thoughtful critiques of current food law issues and materials being covered in the courses.

Most posts will be authored by me or by Neal Fortin, whom many of you already know as the Director of the Institute for Food Laws and Regulations (IFLR) and Global Food Law programs at Michigan State University. However, occasionally there will be guest posts from faculty, affiliates and students within the program. If you are a student or alum of the program -- and have thoughts to share -- please contact communications manager Mark Meyer (meyerm18@anr.msu.edu) to discuss content.

As a new face to the program, I think a little background on me is in order. I have a J.D. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Michigan State in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies[1]. My dissertation research was on the Food Safety Modernization Act, [2] but my interests cover a range of regulatory issues from field to fork to waste.

I like spending my time thinking about how to design, adopt and implement regulations that balance the diversity of interests affected by food and agriculture policy (without being captured too much by special interests) and are flexible and dynamic to the constantly changing world around us (but without being dysfunctionally unpredictable).

Luckily, that is much of what I will be doing here! Being the Global Food Law Research Fellow means I get to interact with food professionals, lawyers, academics and government officials to identify, understand and help educate people on the numerous ways food law and policy is evolving and impacting globalized agri-food systems.

You’ll be seeing a broad array of issues in my blog posts, beginning with my first post which will examine the FDA's recent re-opening of the ‘natural’ can of worms and the history, law, and politics of labelling law and food production. I might then turn to law’s role in individual health and the economic, social, and environmental impacts of fruits and vegetables (i.e. FDA’s produce rule!) with maybe some Farm Bill 101  thrown in because I see them as intimately interrelated. Or I might explore how taking jurisprudence relates to agricultural risk, economic equity, public health and food security. Or, you know, whatever other issue piques my fancy that week.

So sit back and enjoy because it promises to be a Candyland kind of adventure (I leave it to you to decide which characters and places in the game are most analogous).

[1] The department’s name is now Community Sustainability.
[2] The short version of it is that the government agencies (specifically the FDA in my case) struggle to regulate global supply chains and dynamic markets.  At the same time, private actors such as NGOs and businesses have developed systems of private regulation which often involve standards for production practices and product quality, third party audits, and certifications – in short, this is private regulation that replicates, replaces, competes with, and augments government regulation. Learning about private regulation led me to ask questions about how do public and private actors and regimes interact to regulate food systems, with what consequences, and what should we do about it? For my dissertation, I used the FSMA as a case study for examining food safety governance in the United States, but  these systems of private and public-private regulation also cover many other food issues (such as organics and labor production) and occur in many other policy domains, such as fisheries and forestry management and corporate social responsibility.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

New Online Halal Food Law Course at Michigan State University

New online course in halal food with Michigan State University College of Law.

Online Master's in Global Food Law.
Get the tools you need to succeed in the food industry. 

Intro to halal food with Umar Moghul starts January 11, 2016.

Umar Moghul is a transactional lawyer and Lecturer in Law. His course introduces students to the religious foundations of Islamic dietary laws, ethics and customs as they relate to consumption and to commercial food production. He will also address discreet topics such as alcohol, gelatin, halal certification, and consideration of kosher laws and practices.
Earn a Master's Degree in Global Food Law.
Now accepting applications for Spring Semester 2016.
online by November 15, 2015.

Visit globalfood.law.msu.edu for full program information.

Attorneys and other food industry professionals study together in the Master of Laws and Master of Jurisprudence program. Our students earn their graduate degree while maintaining careers at top food companies across the country and around the globe.
  • Atlanta Cheesecake Co.
  • Barilla Group
  • Bayer
  • Clif Bar
  • Co-Alliance LLP
  • Country Fresh
  • Firmenich Inc.
  • Food Source LLP
  • Glanbia Nutritionals
  • Hershey Company
  • Innovative Food Processors
  • International Food and Nutrition Research
  • J.M. Smucker Company
  • Kellogg
  • Kerry Americas
  • Natural American Foods
  • Nestle Health Science
  • Northern Tier Bakery
  • Mead Johnson Nutrition
  • PepsiCo Foods
  • Perrigo
  • Pharmavite
  • Pinnacle Foods
  • Roll Law Group
  • Sandoz Inc.
  • Sara Lee Foods
  • Sargento Foods Inc.
  • Schiff Nutrition
  • Scoular Company
  • Sealed Air Corp.
  • Sensient Technologies
  • Southern Mills
  • Sugar Foods Corporation
  • Super Mom's
  • US Army Public Health Command
  • Weetabix North America
  • Winter Gardens

MSU College of Law Global Food Law Programs
648 North Shaw Lane, Room 364
East Lansing, MI USA 48824

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Seminar: “Food Labeling Laws: Through the Lens of Organic, Local & GMOs”

Seminar Presentation
Marne Coit, J.D., LL.M.
“Food Labeling Laws:
Through the Lens of
Organic, Local & GMOs”
Thursday, October 29th
Presentation:  10:30am – 11:30am
Luncheon:      11:30am – 1:00pm
Room 1135 Anthony
Michigan State University

Marne Coit is interviewing for the Food Law Academic Specialist (Teaching) position

Friday, October 09, 2015

Seminar: Global Trends Food Law EU, USA, China

Professor Fortin will be speaking at the Global Food Law Trends EU, USA, China seminar in Milan, Italy, October 14-15. The agenda is available here

More information is available from: Prof. Ferdinand Albisinni University of Tuscia (VT) Via Ciro Menotti, 4 00195 ROMA Tel. Fax

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Careers in Food and Drug Law Webinar - No Cost

The Food and Drug Law Institute's Careers in Food and Drug Law webinar will be held on September 24 from 12:00 pm- 12:45 pm EST. The seminar is offered at no cost.

In addition to providing students an opportunity to hear from leading experts about career opportunities in food and drug lawthe panel will be answering questions from the audience during the session, as time permits. Please submit your career questions in advance to  

The webinar is free but registration is required. We would appreciate it if you would post, display, or email the flyer describing the event to students who would be interestedMore information can also be found on our website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kevin Newman at (202) 222 0897.

Institute for Food Laws and Regulations

Saturday, July 11, 2015

IFT 2015

For anyone attending IFT in Chicago, July 11-14, stop by the Michigan State University Global Food Law booth in the Expo and say hi. We are booth #1709.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kresge Foundation has granted $150,000 to the MSU Food Law Clinic

The Kresge Foundation granted $150,000 to the MSU Food Law Clinic in Detroit, Michigan. Read the whole story here.

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