Cottage Food and Food Freedom Laws – New LawAtlas data

The newest map on LawAtlas.org analyzes state laws governing the production, sale, and regulation of cottage food operations.

Typically, commercial food production is required to take place in certified commercial kitchens that are heavily regulated. Cottage foods laws regulate the production and sale of certain foods (foods less likely to cause foodborne illness, such as jams and baked goods) made in home kitchens, rather than a licensed commercial kitchen, and a person’s ability sell them in venues like farm stands or retail stores. Similar state laws, called “food freedom laws,” expand upon cottage food laws to include potentially hazardous products like meat and poultry.

These laws are quickly becoming an increasing area of debate at the state level.  Part of this debate centers on the economic rights of “small-batch” home bakers and cooks versus public health and safety concerns. These private bakers, canners, and cooks want the liberty to sell their products to consumers free from the onerous licensing requirements required of their larger commercial counterparts, restaurants and food processing plants, are subject to.  At the same time, there is concern that this individual economic interest is riding roughshod over existing regulations designed to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses that can be caused by improperly prepared foods.

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Tomorrow (1/29): A “Natural” Experiment: Consumer Confusion and Food Claims, a lecture by Efthimios Parasidis

A “Natural” Experiment: Consumer Confusion and Food Claims, a lecture by Efthimios Parasidis

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 12: 00 PM

Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West B                               Harvard Law School, 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA [Map]

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Efthimios Parasidis is Associate Professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and holds a joint appointment with the College of Public Health. He is an inaugural member of College of Medicine’s Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. His scholarship focuses on the regulation of medical products and human subjects research, the interplay between health law and intellectual property, and the application of health information technology to public health policy. He has published in leading law reviews and health policy journals, is co-authoring a casebook, and has a book under contract with Oxford University Press. The Greenwall Foundation awarded Professor Parasidis a Faculty Scholar in Bioethics fellowship for 2014-2017.

The lecture will be followed by an audience question and answer session moderated by Jacob Gersen, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Food Law Lab.

Cosponsored by the Food Law Lab and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School.

This Friday: Transparency in the Global Food System

groceries_aisleTransparency in the Global Food System: How Much Information and to What Ends?

October 24-25, 2014

UCLA Faculty Center
480 Charles Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA

Every day brings increasing media coverage, intensified citizen concern and political focus to the problems of our food system, accompanied by a building consensus on the need to address the known challenges.  But, the factors shaping our current food system and their implications are often opaque and difficult to analyze, due to both the complexity and lack of transparency in our system. This conference will examine these issues: the meaning of transparency in food law and policy, how consumers use and misuse information about the food system, and the limits of information as a policy tool.

Dr. David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and currently a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, will deliver the conference keynote address on October 24th. In addition, as part of UCLA Food Day events, a screening and panel discussion of the documentary Food Chains will be held in the evening following the conference.  Closing the event, an academic workshop will be held on Saturday, October 25th to discuss the future of food law teaching and scholarship.

For the full conference agenda and registration, click here Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Transparency in the Global Food System

groceries_aisleTransparency in the Global Food System: How Much Information and to What Ends?

October 24-25, 2014

UCLA Faculty Center
480 Charles Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA

Every day brings increasing media coverage, intensified citizen concern and political focus to the problems of our food system, accompanied by a building consensus on the need to address the known challenges.  But, the factors shaping our current food system and their implications are often opaque and difficult to analyze, due to both the complexity and lack of transparency in our system. This conference will examine these issues: the meaning of transparency in food law and policy, how consumers use and misuse information about the food system, and the limits of information as a policy tool.

Dr. David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration and currently a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, will deliver the conference keynote address on October 24th. In addition, as part of UCLA Food Day events, a screening and panel discussion of the documentary Food Chains will be held in the evening following the conference.  Closing the event, an academic workshop will be held on Saturday, October 25th to discuss the future of food law teaching and scholarship.

For the full conference agenda and registration, click here Continue reading