Saturday, October 16, 2010

LL.M. Candidates at the National Food Policy Conference

Earlier this fall, three of our current LL.M. candidates, Lauren Medoff, Claire Mitchell, and Allison Waldrip went to Washington, D.C. to attend the 33rd Annual National Food Policy Conference sponsored jointly by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Consumer Federation of America. The theme was “Improving Child Nutrition: New Challenges and Opportunities.” Lauren, Claire, and Allison reported that they thoroughly enjoyed the excellent conference and the opportunity to meet so many food policy leaders.

Samuel D. Kass, Senior Policy Advisor, Healthy Food Initiatives and Assistant White House Chef at The White House delivered the morning keynote address.

Joe W. Thompson, Arkansas Surgeon General and Director of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity was the luncheon keynote speaker. It was wonderful to have Arkansas so well represented.

Pictured above, from left to right are Allison, Claire, Samuel Kass, General Joe Thompson, and Lauren.

The candidates also enjoyed meeting the Honorable Representative Marcia Fudge, a Congresswoman recognized for her awareness of the childhood obesity problem. Pictured below are Claire, Allison, Representative Fudge, and Lauren.

Other highlights of the conference included the first public address by newly confirmed USDA FSIS Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. Dr. Hagen outlined the USDA's vision on modernizing the Department's food safety efforts on behalf of consumers. Among the issues addressed were the pathogens not currently addressed by our testing and regulation, problems with traceback of foodborne illness, inconsistent enforcement of animal welfare standards, and efforts to move from a reactive system of food safety to a pro-active preventative system.

Dr. Hagen was introduced by renowned food safety advocate and Arkansas native, Carol Tucker Foreman,and the LL.M. candidates were delighted to have the opportunity to meet her.

The USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Janey Thornton, also addressed the conference and spoke about her role in overseeing the 15 federal nutrition programs administered by the USDA.

Special thanks goes out to Christopher Waldrop, Director, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America for his work in organizing the conference and his help in getting our LL.M. candidates to the conference.

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