Sunday, March 2, 2014

Harvard Food Safety Conference: LL.M. Connections

A timely conference on food safety was recently held at Harvard Law School.  New Directions for Food Safety: The Food Safety Modernization Act and Beyond was sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center, the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation), the new Harvard Food Law Lab, and the Harvard Food Law Society (with support from the Top University Strategic Alliance and the Dean's Office at Harvard Law School).

Peter Barton Hutt delivered the keynote address for the conference.  Professor Hutt is a senior counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm Covington & Burling.  He has taught a food and drug law course at Harvard for over 20 years and has co-authored the Food and Drug Law casebook.  We were proud to have Professor Hutt teach a condensed courses in the LL.M. Program in 2012 and look forward to his return to Arkansas.

LL.M. Alumnus Michael Roberts was one of the presenters at the conference. Michael serves as the Director of the new Resnick Food Law and Policy Program at UCLA School of Law. His presentation topic was, The Regulation of Food Fraud Under FSMA: A Triggering of Obligations.  We are pleased to participate in a collaboration with The Resnick Center and the Drake University Agricultural Law Center on agricultural and food law issues.

Recent LL.M. Alumna Alli Condra (Class of 2012) also presented at the conference. Alli serves as a Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation).  This year, much of her work focused on the proposed food safety rules applicable to to farms and drafting extensive comments to those rules.  She addressed those rules in her presentation at the conference, FSMA and Farm Consolidation.

Another of the excellent speakers presenting at the conference was Denis Stearns, Professor in Practice from Seattle University School of Law.  Professor Stearns is a founding partner of Marler Clark, the Seattle-based law firm that is nationally recognized for their representation of victims of food borne illness.  Marler Clark has a close relationship with the LL.M. Program, sponsoring the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship, and Professor Stearns has co-taught a condensed course in the LL.M. Program with Bill Marler.  Professor Stearns presented on Turning a Black Swan White: Questioning the Need for Regulation of Non-Industrial Agriculture.

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