Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lauren Handel on Prop 37

LL.M. Candidate, Lauren Handel did a guest lecture in our Food Law & Policy class last Friday.

Lauren has been researching and writing on Proposition 37 in California -  the proposition on the November ballot in California that calls for the labeling of Genetically Engineered food products.  She did a great job analyzing the specific language of the ballot measure and the legal issues that may well come up if it passes. Current polling indicates that it is likely to pass.

The labeling of food products produced through genetic engineering has been a contentious issue since the technology was first introduced decades ago. Controversy surged in recent years as more GE products were approved and consumers became more active in questioning how their food was produced. The FDA has consistently said that labeling is not required so long as the product is essentially the same as the non-GE product. The Just Label It campaign states that it has gathered over 1 million signatures on its request to the FDA to revisit its labeling policy.  In this environment, the Prop 37 initiative has gained significant media attention and even more attention from the affected industries. The stakes are high for all concerned, with not only labeling issues but product segregation,  stream of commerce, and enforcement issues all in play.

In class, Lauren dealt effectively with the legal issues presented - what does Prop 37 require, what exemptions are provided, and what are the likely challenges if it passes.  Thanks, Lauren -  great job.  I am fortunate to have such a talented class of LL.M. candidates this year -  and I hope to rely on them throughout the year for this kind of presentation.

You can read the series of articles Lauren wrote analyzing the ballot issue on Jason Foscolo LLC - Food Law, the blog of Agricultural & Food Law Attorney (and LL.M. Alumnus) Jason Foscolo.

Appreciation is extended to Jason for working with our LL.M. candidates and providing a forum for their publications on his popular blog. 

Lauren received her B.A. from the University of Maryland (Government & Politics), cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude. She served as a staff member on the GEORGETOWN LAW JOURNAL and was the recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award. Before joining us in the LL.M. Program, she was a partner with McDermott Will & Emery LLP in New York, practicing in the area of civil litigation in federal and state courts, products liability and environmental law.  She is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, Maryland, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Professor Neil Hamilton & LL.M. Alumni at Harkin Portrait Unveiling

Professor Neil Hamilton was in Washington, D.C. last week when Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was celebrated at a Capitol Hill reception that included the unveiling of Senator Harkin's official portrait.  This portrait will be hung among those of other past chairmen of the Senate Agriculture Committee on the walls of the Committee’s hearing room.

The guest list for the unveiling was a roll call of prominent figures in agriculture including U.S. Agriculture Secretary, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, current Senate Agriculture Committee chair, Debbie Stabenow, ranking member Pat Roberts, former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, our friend, Professor Hamilton and many staffers who served on the Committee. Two of our LL.M. alumni served under Senator Harkin on the Agriculture Committee -  Doug O'Brien and Amy Lowenthal.  Both were in attendance at the unveiling. Doug now serves as Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA, and Amy serves as Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General at USDA.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alli Condra Accepts Fellowship at Harvard

We are delighted to report that recent LL.M. graduate, Allison Condra has accepted a fellowship position with Harvard Law School's Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation.  She will work with the Center’s Food Law and Policy Clinic on a broad range of federal, state, and local policy projects "to increase access to nutritious food for poor and low-income individuals and families, reduce diet-related diseases, and maximize small farmers’ access to food markets."  She will report to clinic director, Emily Broad Lieb, a recognized new leader in the food policy arena.

The Food Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard has been involved in a wide range of work, including outreach and training for state and national government officials and community groups. They recently published the Good Laws, Good Food Toolkit for Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities.

Alli received her B.A. from California Lutheran University (Interdisciplinary Studies in Pre-Naturopathic Medicine) and her J.D. with High Honors from Drake University Law School, earning a Certificate in Food & Agricultural Law.  Alli was with us in the LL.M. Program during the 2011-2012 academic year as the recipient of the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship. This assistantship allowed her to write articles for the acclaimed online newspaper, Food Safety News sponsored by Marler Clark. Alli completed her final article, Food Sovereignty in the United States: Supporting Local and Regional Food Systems, this summer and received her LL.M. degree in August.

Congratulations, Alli - we know you will accomplish great things!