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Regent Hosts Food Law Symposium

By Brett Wilson | October 14, 2013

"Food law touches the lives of every American—whether it's restriction on soda size, a misleading label or price changes," said Regent University School of Law student Nicholas Lee. "The way food and food production is regulated has a huge impact on our everyday lives, especially our wallets."

On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Regent University Law Review hosted the Emerging Issues in Food Law summit. School of Law students, faculty and professionals gathered to gain insight on the current climate of regulations within the food industry.

The summit provided a forum for scholars and experts to highlight the role of law in the regulation of food sales, consumption, production, marketing and production of food in the United States.

"These food law issues are of paramount and growing importance at the very core of our lives," said Doug Cook, professor in the School of Law and moderator for the day-long symposium. "As new technologies develop, it is imperative that we operate on a principled basis, continuing to be good stewards of the creation entrusted to us by God."

Professor Eleanor Brown, who served as a panelist for the event, explained that food law is a wide-ranging legal forum, and as a result, is crucial for law students to familiarize themselves with.

"Food law encompasses a broad range of legal and public policy issues from farm to fork," said Brown. "Everybody eats; the relevance of food in our daily existence is undisputed."

Presentations at the symposium featured a large span of food law issues, including crime and misrepresentation of organic and local foods for sale at the farmers market to the regulation of genetically-modified food.

Following the symposium, attendees of the event were invited to a banquet featuring keynote speaker Michael Roberts, director of the Resnick Center on Food Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Roberts spoke on the fact that everyone is affected by food and the food delivery system.

The emergence of food law, according to Roberts, is the "outgrowth of a social movement," as consumers are becoming more conscious about the food they buy and eat. This is a fact that Lee hopes will encourage students to be more aware of as they begin their legal careers.

"We hope that they will be able to understand the implications of food labeling, purchasing and general food regulation so that they may better respond to upcoming changes in the law, represent clients well, and make informed choices as consumers," said Lee.

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.


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