HLS in the World | Why Food Law? Serving Justice, Sustainability, and Health

HLS in the World | Why Food Law? Serving Justice, Sustainability, and Health


EMILY BROAD LEIB: So I first
want to thank all of you for coming today. I see a lot of our students,
which is really exciting. And we have a very
distinguished panel of alums all of the school. And I can’t claim three of
them because they were here before I was, but
at least two of whom were students in our program. And I’ve gotten to see
them come from students and go through several
different now jobs and work in the
field of food law. So just to give you some sense
I think many of you are here I think for lots of
different reasons, and I’m going actually ask you
a little bit a few questions in a minute to see
who is in the room, but just when you think
about what brings us here, if you think about soda
taxes which have been in the news a lot lately
because of litigation, because of in Cook County
a soda tax passing, and then a couple of
months later being repealed and for political reasons. Sodium warnings,
and sugar sweetened beverage warnings, and
litigation over both of those. Discussions over live made
meat and cultured meat and then also over genetically
engineered products and what those mean,
the regulatory process for producing them and
getting them to market, and then labeling
questions over how you would tell consumers what
they’re buying and consuming. Budget debates over
lots of things, but recently also
over SNAP which is the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. So these are just a
handful, I could keep going. I think often the
first day of class I’ll put together a list of
just things that have happened in the past two weeks in the
news that are food related, that relate to topics
that we talk about, and it’s really present
in people’s minds. I think there’s been
recent years have seen an increase in
concern and attention to issues related to food
and how they impact health and the environment, and
how they impact transparency and purchasing
decisions, and what consumers really want to know. So today we’ll talk about
some of the big questions around why you should
care about food, why we care about food, what is
food law, food law and policy or food law. We are kind of all coming
at this from really different perspectives. As I know some of you in
the audience who I’ve gotten had the pleasure to
get to know, so how are we kind of coming at
this from all different ways and what does that mean? And then also where
is this field headed, what are some of
the big questions that we’re grappling with? So you’re going to get to hear
from some exceptional alums. We’re going to
have a conversation and there will be
time for all of you to ask questions as well,
so get ready for that. So let me just start by
introducing the panelists. So to my left we have Ona
Balkus who is an alum, was in the Food Law
and Policy Clinic, and then was a fellow in
the clinic for three years until just about a
year and a half ago, and then left us to become
legislative council for a DC councilwoman, a
DC council member Mary Cheh where she’s
writing legislation on a bunch of issues,
including food related issues and environmental issues. And next to her
Peter Barton Hutt who is the father of
food and drug law, which is one of the fields
that from which this broader set of food law
and policy questions and issues emerges. So the difference really
being food and drug law is really the study of
what the Food and Drug Administration does, and
can do, and should do. And I think what we’re
realizing, certainly in my work and many of the others here, is
that that’s really important. We need safe food that
is labeled accurately, but there are lots of other
questions and issues coming up that really are beyond
the bounds of FDA law. And FDA law also concerns itself
with drugs and medical devices which have taken more
and more actually of the FDA’s resources. And so Peter also has been
teaching food and drug law here at Harvard Law
School for 24 years, it’ll be his 25th year this
winter, we’ll have a party. PETER BARTON HUTT: Anybody who
wants to come just let me know. EMILY BROAD LEIB: And he
was chief counsel of the FDA from 1971 to 1975,
which is where he draws a lot of his expertise,
and author of the main FDA law casebook, and now he’s a counsel
at Covington and Burling, senior counsel at
Covington and Burling. And then next to
him is Smita Narula who is currently interim
director of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt
House Public Policy Institute of Hunter College. There’s a lot of
words of that title. But Smita actually comes at food
from a human rights background, and so she was previously
a clinical faculty member at New York University
in human rights but was doing a lot of
work on the right to food, and sort of still about
to teach a new course on issues of the intersection
of food and human rights. So we’ll get to hear about that. Next to her is
Nate Rosenberg, who is now a scholar and
consultant on issues of food and the environment. So he was last year a
visiting assistant professor at University of Arkansas in
their food and agriculture alum program, and is still
teaching there adjunct, and is consulting with both
Earth Justice and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Previously worked at the Natural
Resources Defense Council, and also was a
Mississippi Delta. So those who know
the Mississippi Delta project he was and the fellow
there before that and then as a student here was actually
started Harvard’s Food Law Society so I know we have
two of our, at least two of our food law society
leadership here today. And so Harvard was the
first food law society so we can call him the
father of food law societies. And everyone’s going to
be a parent parent today. And then next to Nate at the
end is Tama Matsuoka Wong, who is a recovered lawyer,
recovering lawyer, so practiced corporate law for many years. But actually is here
today because she, her career change now is a
professional forager and author of cookbooks on foraged
foods, the names of which are Meadows and More– oh, sorry, the business
is Meadows and More. Her books are Foraged
Flavor and Scraps, Wilts, and Weeds, which
also has a food waste focus to it, which is great. So we have a really– As you can hear,
it was on purpose. We wanted to show you the
diversity of what people are doing and how people
are approaching often some of the same core issues
around what we want our food system to do, and
what it’s not doing, and why that’s problematic, but
from very different backgrounds and interest areas. So the other thing I
want to do, actually, before, I want to tell you
just briefly about our clinic here, which is what I direct. Because I’m guessing that
many of you were not here when we had a food
log policy clinic, except for the current students. So let me tell
you that, and then I want to ask a little bit
about who you are before we start our conversation. So just for those who don’t know
about the food law and policy clinic, we’ve been around
for about, I guess, almost seven years. And the idea behind
this clinic is really to move the dial on some
of these big food questions and food law and policy issues,
while educating students about how to work in this space,
about the substance of laws that regulate the
food system, but also about how to do the work of
community building, community organizing, policy advocacy. So as examples of that, we try
to influence policy dialogues by developing new ideas. So this week, we’ve been
talking with students about brainstorming
new ideas, something we have the luxury of time to do. Some of these problems
are old problems, but it’s just people
haven’t taken the time to sit down and think
about, for some of them, what can we do better? What are the options? What are the possibilities? So for example, we put out
a paper earlier this year about the US Farm Bill, which
is one of our biggest pieces of legislation that supports
our food and agriculture system. But there’s about $500 billion
dollars allocated in the Farm Bill every five years,
and not a dollar of that has been spent on making sure
that all that food that we produce and get out to market
actually makes it to tables instead of getting thrown away. So that was really
putting out ideas, thinking about what’s
possible, talking to different stakeholders
and to policymakers. And so that’s an example. We also help draft bills
and pass legislation, so students have gotten to
write pieces of legislation. They’ve gotten to write
fact sheets and op-eds and press releases around why
this legislation is important. So as an example,
two of the bills that we wrote in California
were signed into law within the past two weeks, one
trying to standardize the date labels on food
packages, and then the other one offering
additional protection for those who donate
food that’s excess food. So students got to work
on every step of that. We’ve had students
out testifying. So we actually had a student
testifying earlier this year in the DC Council
for legislation that own a road, which was
pretty cool for us, too. So students are getting
their hands dirty doing that policy work. And then we do
community organizing. Students have worked with a lot
of community coalitions or food policy councils to
try to help them take the challenges that
they see on the ground and conceptualize what
change could look like. So sometimes it’s bringing
ideas from other states. Sometimes it’s helping figure
out, which level of government can work on this issue? It’s something you thought the
federal government was doing, but really you can address
this closer to home. So we’ve done work
along those lines everywhere from Mississippi
to West Virginia. We have had an ongoing
project in Navajo Nation. And I’d say the
last thing we do is we do work trying to build the
field of food law and policy, and so I’ll come back to that
later, what that looks like. But Harvard has
the first clinic, as we are the first
for so many things here at Harvard Law School, we
have the food law and policy clinic. We’re now one of four
dedicated food law and policy clinics in the country. And many others are doing more
and more work in this space. So a lot of our work has
also been documenting that and trying to build
space for collegiality, for people coming together and
talking about what this means. And I’d say this panel
is one of those things, bringing people together and
explaining to others why this is a field, why it’s important. So before we get to our
panel, we all talked and we thought we wanted to
know a little bit about you. So I guess I’ll start by asking
who here works on food issues, on food in any way? You can raise them higher, even
if you work in our programs. Students who have
been in the clinic, you should raise
your hands, too. All right, OK. And who works on other issues,
but where food has come up? You’ve done some
litigation, something happened to be food related,
or it’s your environmental law but some things are
related to agriculture. OK, a couple. Who has been affected by
food laws in their life? PETER BARTON HUTT: Everybody. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Some people
didn’t raise their hand. Who eats? So I think, as you can see,
it’s good for us to know. A lot of people are
working in this space. But I think also, these
laws, like so many others, they really impact us every
day, three times a day, because there’s a
lot that law does to encourage people to produce
the things that wind up on our plates that
might, in some ways, discourage new things or make
it challenging for new things to come to market. So I think, to start, I
want to ask Peter, actually, to get started,
because he has been doing this the
longest so has a sense of the history of the field. So I guess, Peter,
if you can just tell a little bit, where do
you think this field came from? What are the roots? What have you seen from
your vantage point? PETER BARTON HUTT:
There was never a time in recorded human
history when there were not laws relating to the food supply. Food law is the oldest recorded
form of government regulation of private enterprise. If you go back to the first law
code, the Code of Hammurabi, about 5,000 years ago,
you’ll find a provision– in fact, more than
one provision– relating to the
regulation of food. Well, it’s obvious why. They had terrible
concerns back then about getting enough food and
about accurate representation about food. My two favorite
statutes, for example, in medieval England,
was one that literally said it would be a
crime to adulterate it, which was the word
used, the food, by adding anything quote “not
wholesome for man’s body” quote. If you take a look at our
modern food safety law, there is no improvement. You could regulate
the whole food supply using the 1266 statute. And at the same time they
were doing that, they required bakers to write their
name in a loaf of bread so the consumers
would be able to tell where the bread came from,
in case there was a problem. In case you think there weren’t
any problems, this is no joke. They used to put all
kinds of white material with the flour in there. They even put
pebbles in the bread. I never understood that one. Well, those laws came over
with our colonial settlers in the United States and
after the Revolution. The first place you find
them are at the city level, then in the county,
then in the state, but not at the federal level. And the reason not
at the federal level was because of the very
narrow construction of the Supreme Court
about the Commerce Clause. There was no room for federal
regulation at that time until a socialist wrote
a great book, The Jungle, and convinced the country
not to become socialist, but that there was a problem
with the regulation of meat. And therefore, the
first federal statute was 1906 in our country. It took 27 years to get
that through Congress. Then that was modernized in 1938
and continues up to this day. I’ll conclude
these brief remarks by saying three new statutes
in the last five years dealing with the food supply. The first, menu labeling
of nutrition information. The second one being genetically
modified food being labeled, which USDA is trying to figure
out how to implement right at this moment. Both those with on
the labeling side. On the safety side, a
major, major statute, the Food Safety
Modernization Act. So this is a continuous process. The law gets revised and amended
and added to all the time. How is that for 5,000 years? EMILY BROAD LEIB: I think you
skipped a few things, actually. I was a little disappointed. No. So I think it’s interesting,
actually, some of the things you got to. For example, the
GE disclosure law, which actually gives that
power to USDA, rather than FDA, to come up with the actual
regulations implementing this disclosure. And I think it’s an example
of one of the things that we’ve seen in the food
system, which for so long, I think, everyone really
thought the Food and Drug Administration would
handle all of these issues. And there’s actually quite a
big regulatory fragmentation. So I don’t know if you want to
comment also on other agencies or what that looks like. And then I think it’s
also why we brought all these other
voices to the table, too, that are dealing with
food maybe outside of the FDA. PETER BARTON HUTT: Well, one
of the great debates on food law for the last
50 years has been, should you take all of
the different elements of the federal
government that impinge on the regulation of food
and put them in one agency? For example, meat and
poultry are at USDA. The whole rest of
the food supply is regulated by FDA, except
that the pesticide residue levels in food are set by EPA,
and they are enforced by FDA. So you have this system. And I always point out,
why does this exist? History. If you don’t understand
the history of how these things develop,
you’ll never understand why they are the way they are. In 1882, USDA
decided to separate the Bureau of Chemistry, which
is now FDA and was in the USDA, from the Bureau of
Animal Industry. That explains why meat and
poultry are still at USDA, just as one example. But there are about 15 agencies,
separate fish agencies, et cetera. The Bureau of
Alcohol, for example. Alcoholic beverages
are food under our law, and that’s regulated
by a separate group. If you put them all
together, my own view is you’d have bigger
chaos than you have today. But that’s just one
person’s viewpoint. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Thank you. Maybe we’ll come
back to that and we can debate on that later. So I wanted to ask Ona, just
as one other perspective. I didn’t really mention,
but as a student, Ona did a JD and
also an MPH, and so really, I think, came to
this originally with a health interest as well. So I think one
area that we could argue about, which pieces of
this FDA does or does well, is around the
impacts that the food system has on public
health, notably on diet-related disease. So Ona, if you want to talk
about your interests, how you came to this, and
some of the issues particularly that are
coming up in this space. ONA BALKUS: Sure. Yeah, so as Emily said, I got
a joint degree here at Harvard. And I originally got
interested in food because I was teaching
cooking-based nutrition classes as part of an
AmeriCorps program, and I like to say I
got productively angry. It was so frustrating
to teach people that wanted to change their
diet about healthy eating when there were so many
environmental factors in their lives and in their
neighborhoods that made it very difficult to eat healthy. And I think one of the
most exciting things, watching the food
law and the clinic grow over the last
seven years, has been seeing people make
the connection more between the
environments that people are living in and eating in and
how that impacts their health. And you really see state
and local governments, which I have more experience
with so I’ll probably focus on that more, and
the federal government addressing those issues
in two separate ways. The first is before
people get sick, how can we change environments
to encourage and incentivize healthier lifestyles? So there’s a big debate on
the federal level about, should we be incentivizing the
agriculture of healthier foods? So of fruits and
vegetables, specialty crops, rather than the current system,
which leads to cheap commodity crops, like corn and soy,
and eventually in the grocery store, products
made of those crops being cheaper, more accessible. Should we should we change
the way we incentivize agriculture in this country? And then on the
local level, there’s a lot of great programs. In DC we have a program
called Produce Plus, where low income residents get
a voucher for farmers markets. So if they go to the farmers
market and spend $10, they get an extra
$10 so they can spend $20 at the farmer’s market. That’s just one example. And then the second way that you
see this connection happening is after people are sick,
what can the government do to use food as a way to address
those people’s illnesses and, hopefully, decrease the
amount of time they’re sick and increase their
quality of life? So for example,
there’s a program that’s been happening in
different states and cities around the country called
the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription
Program, where people who have chronic
illnesses actually get a prescription for buying
healthy food to cook for themselves. Or even there’s a program
here in Boston and also in DC where medically tailored meals
for people with HIV and cancer can actually be paid by
their health insurance. So the same way your
health insurance subsidizes your drugs, it
could subsidize foods you could eat that make you feel better. So we’re seeing
it more and more. It’s a hot topic because,
both federally and locally, we’re spending a lot
of health care dollars on diet-related chronic disease. I think this will just keep
growing, and it’s exciting. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Great. And I’m going to
go down to the end and have Tama, actually,
talk a little bit, bring in a little bit
the environmental side from your vantage point,
having a perspective in this. And then also, I
think, just because you have taken a turn
in your career, where you’re working on food
not necessarily as a lawyer, but how has your career evolved? TAMA MATSUOKA WONG: Sure. So I have a start up
wild food business. And a lot of how
I came to this was I was overseas for a long time,
but I came back to New Jersey, and I was working with a
lot of conservation groups. And besides the fact that more
and more of our potentially fertile land is being
degraded for agriculture and there’s less and less– they think there’s
less and less– and we’re running out of that. Besides that, one of the
major issues and challenges for property managers
and conservation groups is there’s too many
invasive species. Invasive species are usually
species that have come, they have no pests and other
types of mechanisms here. And so they’re actually
becoming like monocultures across a lot of our landscapes
and are causing a lot of havoc to the environment. And so the government
spends billions of dollars trying
to get rid of this, and there aren’t enough people. There are just not enough
people to volunteer to get rid of these. Some of these invasive
species, which I was trying to get rid of, when
I looked into a little more, having a lawyer’s
investigative mind and not being afraid
of Latin, I found out that these plants are plants
that come from other countries, like Asia. And there, they’re actually
gourmet delicacies. So a lot of the
stuff is around us. So a light bulb goes off. You can use some of
these invasive species, help the environment
at the same time. It’s an amazing food source. Now, of course the idea
is easy, and so a lot of what our business
is doing is actually making that actually execute
that, and taking something. And being able to
sell it to Michelin starred chefs is a
challenge, but it’s very exciting, very
creative, and there’s always something more to do. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
As a follow-up, I think it brings
up also that there’s been a lot of change over,
I’d say, the past few decades and what people want to
see, what people want to grow and sell and produce. And this is just
one example where we were getting rid of one plant
and now realizing, actually, there might be
another use for it. I think we see this also
in the context with laws in a lot of cities now to
allow urban agriculture, growing food, allowing keeping
chickens, which Ona can talk about, keeping chickens in DC. But I think a big change
is in, what is food? What do we eat? What’s edible? Where does it come from? Is it right in my
backyard, perhaps? But I actually want to
ask, as a follow-up to you, just a question, because there’s
another way in which what you do can interact with law, which
is laws around not allowing people to harvest or
take certain crops, even weeds from parks. So I don’t know if you want
to say a little bit about that as well. TAMA MATSUOKA WONG: So
obviously, it’s something sort of new and cool and trendy. So you have a lot of
people jumping into here who have no legal background. They don’t really know species
and they don’t really know about the land or the terroir. So it’s illegal in a lot
of states to do this. But it would be pretty easy. In the West Coast, it’s
actually a mechanism in place for mushrooms. It’s a pretty big
industry there. So you just look at it
under fish and game. So you have to pay for a permit. The permit goes to the land
manager, or the park ranger, so income comes in. And then they’re only
allowed to take away a certain amount,
which is specified, during a certain season. And if there are certain parks
that become overharvested, you can no longer go to
that park for the season. So that would be something,
which you would probably have to have some kind of– I think you have
to certify if you want to be able to gain–
you have to have a license. The payment would go into
helping to maintain and steward those lands. So there is a
mechanism, but it hasn’t been extended to
much beyond fish and game and some mushrooms. EMILY BROAD LEIB: I
think it will be really interesting, actually, to see. There’s been some
debates actually in New York City, as
well as other places, around people foraging
things from parks and what are you allowed. And even here in Boston, you
can do an urban foraging, tour which, if I can wake up
early enough on a Saturday morning, I would do. So let’s actually turn Nate next
to talk a little bit about– we talk about how, or the
environment, or even safety. A lot of these things are
distributional impacts on how the food system
impacts certain populations and the disparities
in that, both in terms of who is benefiting
from the food system– I mean, who’s making money? Who’s producing things? Who has farms and land? And then, also,
in terms of who’s suffering from some of the
harms of the food system that are environmental
or health-related. So I would love to hear you
talk about your own work in this phase and what we’re
seeing, primarily domestically. And then just as a foreshadow
that will go global after that with Smita. NATE ROSENBERG: Sure. Yeah, so I mean, what we see
here in the United States is that our food system is
very much like other parts of our economy,
but only more so. So I was talking to
a farmer recently, who I think summed it up
well, when she was talking about the barriers that
young farmers, specifically she trains farmers of
color who want to go out and start their own farms. And she was talking about
the barriers they face. And she said wealth
makes wealth. Pretty much, just
their wealth inequality is probably the biggest
barrier, according to her, for these young farmers. They’re highly motivated. They come into our program
often having a lot of knowledge, but farming and getting the
necessary land is expensive. And in the food
system, you not only have wealth inequality,
which is an issue in all areas of our economy, but
that’s compounded by the fact that a lot of the wage
and labor protections that workers in other
areas of our society have, we don’t have with
the food system. And a lot of that has
to do with the fact that when these wage and
labor protections were put into place,
southern legislatures had a huge amount of
control in Congress and set the legislative
agenda to some degree. And if you think about who
the labor force, particularly in the food economy in the
South, was at that time, it was black laborers. And so they did not receive the
protections other workers did. And we’re still dealing with
that, not only in the South, but in places like Boston,
in the food service industry, with agricultural labor. So there’s a lot of work to do
when it comes to inequality. EMILY BROAD LEIB: So taking it a
little bit to the global level, where does all the stuff that
we’re talking about fit in? I mean, how is the
US impacting others, or how are we grappling with
similar issues and movements going on elsewhere? SMITA NARULA: I’ll
actually just begin by saying my thanks
to you, Emily, for bringing us all
together, and for being a pioneer in this
field that I think is just really poised
to grow, and really is a space where many can
come who are interested not just in safety,
environment, and public health, but from my vantage point
as well, who are also really interested in food
as a mechanism for delivering and
examining power, and food as a means
of organizing society to ensure greater
racial, gender, economic, and social justice, including
justice for indigenous peoples. So food, to me, is a really
exciting area to do that. I’m really regretting not taking
your course now, Peter, really. But I have a reason. And the reason is because
when I was in law school, I wasn’t, at that point,
20 years ago, thinking about food in those terms. I was doing human rights work. I went on to work at
Human Rights Watch, and then teaching the
Human Rights Clinic as a clinical professor
at NYU Law School before coming to Hunter. So I come to this work through
the lens of human rights, and through the
idea of, how is it that we can go about ensuring
the right to food for all? So if I can answer that
question just by sharing what the right is. So the right to food, under
international human rights law, is the right of all people
to be free from hunger, but to also have physical and
economic access at all times to sufficient
nutritious food that is culturally acceptable
and sustainably produced, so that the right
is also preserved for future generations. So if you just take
that one right, which has been really radicalized and
made robust by social movements all over the world
and think about, well, how do our food systems measure
up to ensuring that right? Well, measured against
the requirement that we should be ensuring
sustainable and equitable access to nutritious food
for all in a sustainable way, the food systems that we’ve
inherited from the 20th century have failed spectacularly
at a global, global level. Nearly one billion
people in the world suffer from hunger and mal
or undernourishment today. An overwhelming majority
live in the global south, but right here in the United
States, one in seven people live in a household that’s
considered food insecure. And here, of course,
the calorie-rich but nutrient-dense– sorry, calorie-rich
but nutrient-poor foods have also led to an epidemic of
obesity and other public health crises. And then you have industrial
agricultural production that has caused immense
environmental harms globally by adding to greenhouse
gas emissions, by extending monocultures,
destroying agrobiodiversity, and accelerating soil
erosion, so that food system has not only failed on
all these other levels, but also has made it so that
the food that comes to our plate arrives at us through an
enormous amount of violence to the people who produce
it and to the planet and the ecosystems where
we produce our food. So globally, what
is happening then? So globally, you’re also
seeing a lot of movements that are standing up,
using the language of the right to food, the
language of food sovereignty or food justice, to
demand a shifting of power in the food system. And I think that’s where
a lot of the interesting conversations globally are
happening and connecting to the United States. And just to give one statistic
to give some sharp relief to the idea of
imbalance of power, we have a handful of
agribusiness corporations that are controlling the
retailing, processing, production, marketing,
and distribution of food. On the one hand, just a few
agribusinesses control that. And on the other hand,
the overwhelming majority of people who are food
insecure and hungry today, most of them women
and people of color, are somehow involved in
the production, processing, or selling of our food. So the fact that those
who are producing our food and feeding us and are the ones
who are the most food insecure, for me, makes this
a rights issue. It makes it a power issue. And it connects
very deeply to what is happening in movements
in the United States, because how we set
the food system here and how we hold particular
actors accountable, and how we organize
our consumption choices under a
globalized economy, has enormous impact on
rights around the world. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
And a follow-up, and I know this is a pervasive
question in human rights, but just how does it work,
using that same language, domestically, do you see it as
being a helpful or a hindrance to– even if the attempt is
somewhat aligned with what other groups are trying to do– what do you think
about that piece? SMITA NARULA: Using the
language of rights here? It’s actually a really exciting
moment for this language, and I’ve been fortunate
enough to be involved with a lot of other
movements and actors here that are trying to
use the language of food sovereignty, food
justice, or the right to food, which all
have distinct meanings, but to change the narrative
around the conversation. There are two really
dominant narratives at play, both in the United
States and globally, in terms of how we deal with
food crises and food issues. One is the narrative
of charity, which is food insecurity and all
these other wage inequalities, and things will be
resolved through charity. And the other narrative is
this narrative of production, that what we’re really
facing, and this has been a trope that’s
been used for decades now, even longer, is
that this is really just a production problem. And it’s only going to get
worse with climate change and as the population expands. So how do we solve it? We really just have to increase
production and increase charity. Those two, paradigms when
they come together, here in the United States
and elsewhere, has led to a lot of the
problems that we’re facing. And I think what the
language and the framing does is it shifts the
conversation entirely. If you don’t have a
market-based approach, you need to have another
strong normative framework, like a rights-based approach. And the other thing
that it does is it fundamentally shifts
the question from not, how do we feed the world, or
how do we feed hungry Americans? But how do we empower
individuals and communities to be able to provide
for themselves with dignity and with
rights and sustainably? So for me, it’s about
shifting a consciousness and shifting the very
moral center and values around how we think
about and sell food. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
So the challenge now is, how do we bring
all these pieces together? But I’m going to start by
that with just, do you think– and I think we have a
diversity of opinions on this– is this all one field? I mean, obviously, we’re
talking about the things we put on our plate
every day, and what happened for it
to get there, why it’s not there for some people. But do these sort of merit
being studied as one field? And I don’t know, Peter, I
might ask you to go first. And then we can respond. Just why or why not? Are these all part and
parcel, or should they just be studied as separate issues? PETER BARTON HUTT: Well,
you’ve raised two questions. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
Answer them both. PETER BARTON HUTT: OK, the first
question is, are they related? And the answer is,
of course they are. If you want to get
food to the world that is nutritious and novel,
and uses available resources that otherwise wouldn’t be
used, and solve labor problems in a fair way, that
all relates to food. And it should be
studied together. The problem is there is not
enough time in any course that I’ve ever been involved
in to do all of that. But you have to recognize
in the real world, they’re totally different,
in the sense that the Food and Drug Administration
does two things, and it does them
unbelievably well. One is it makes sure the food
is safe, which, after all, all of everything
else depends on that. And the second is that it makes,
to the best of its ability, sure that the food
is labeled properly. Now, I put together the
first nutrition labeling, and the thought
that we had when we did that at FDA, was that this
was going to change everything. But you can’t just put
information out there and expect that
somehow everybody is going to understand it. When I first introduced it and
there was a press conference, I predicted it would take
three generations for it to really be meaningful. I was optimistic. People still don’t rely on it. They don’t act on it. And I thought the other day
of a wonderful professor of nutrition at Harvard, who I
heard give a couple of talks. This is 40 years ago. He was working in
Africa, and he couldn’t get the people in Africa to
eat more nutritious food. And he realized
people have habits. People, as he put it to me,
don’t eat for nutrition. They eat for pleasure. And so if you’re going to
change their nutritional status, you have to change the food. So he started
putting the nutrition into the food to
make it fortified with essential nutrients. Of course, the people who were
eating it didn’t even know it. But as a result, he changed
the nutritional status of all of Africa. Just doing what FDA
does is not enough, even if it does it is
as well as can be done. Nutrition labeling
did not prevent the worst epidemic of obesity
in the United States history. It went into effect in
1971, and our country has gotten worse and worse
and worse since then. So there’s a limit to what
government power can do. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
Is it possible you caused the obesity epidemic? PETER BARTON HUTT: I
have worried about that. I have actually, in
my course, I have asked the class a couple of
times, am I the guilty party? EMILY BROAD LEIB: Others
want to jump in on this? Is this all one field? And maybe the FDA stands alone,
and everything else is a field? Or is there a reason
to kind of suck the FDA into the rest of this? NATE ROSENBERG:
Yeah, I mean, Peter, I think you just
made a beautiful case for looking at food law and
policy as a holistic field. PETER BARTON HUTT: And I agree
with that, Nate, you know that. It should be looked
at holistically. I struggled to think
of any person who could cover, in a
course, everything that we’ve already heard. EMILY BROAD LEIB: I
try very, very hard. PETER BARTON HUTT: I know. EMILY BROAD LEIB: My
students know because there’s a lot of reading. NATE ROSENBERG:
So yeah, I mean, I think there’s a lot of
excitement right now, and a lot of interest
in looking at the food system in a holistic way. And maybe not everything
can be included, but trying to bring in different
factors, like the environment, like labor. Because I think there
are two pressures. One is, are there are activists
that are working in the field, and they’ve identified
food or food systems as a really important part of
their communities and issues that they want to push on? And also the second pressure
I think is just reality. I mean, it’s hard to work in
food in an isolated manner. I do a lot of
environmental work and work with a lot of environmentalists,
and you can’t just look at it– and they’re all aware, even the
most classical conservationist environmentalists–
everyone is aware that you can’t just
look at it from a purely environmental perspective. In the continental United
States, almost 2/3 of the land is agricultural land, and
people live on that land. People work on that land. And what happens on that
land affects the communities that live near there. And so one of the exciting
things to me about this field is that not only does it look
at so many aspects of our life, but it’s also really
exciting that it brings in a lot of different
disciplines, like economics. Social scientists are
really active in the field, and statisticians. ONA BALKUS: I would say, from
an organizing point of view, but with the fellowship I
was doing here at Harvard, I was consulting with
food policy councils around the country,
which for those that don’t know what a food
policy council is, it’s groups of activists and
their local community or states that come together
because they all have a shared interest in changing the food
system in the place they live. And I think, to what both
Peter and Nate are saying, there are a lot of expertise. And nobody can be
experts in everything, but I think that coalition
building and realizing that there is a humbling
experience about coming in thinking you know everything
and there being somebody there who’s an expert in a different
part of the food system, and you’re told
to sit back down, I think that’s
really beneficial. And especially in our
current food system, where somebody could come in
with a labor rights background and say that the biggest problem
in our city and our state and our country right now is
that our restaurant workers, that our farm workers,
aren’t being treated fairly. This is what we
should prioritize. And then you have nutritionists
coming in and saying, no, we need to
prioritize the soda tax. Soda is killing everybody. We need to do that first. And then having a third
person come in who is like, I only want to work
on urban agriculture. This is what’s going to
save the food system. And having those
people have a dialogue with each other and even
compromise on their own issue, maybe do a priority building
together and decide how they’re going to go through
those issues one by one, you build, I think, much
more effective coalitions that are actually going
to get stuff done, rather than having all of these
disjointed efforts going on. I mean, I will say I am
new to local politics. I’ve only been in it for a year. But there are a lot
of local politicians that are like, oh,
I did something related to food, check. Don’t have to worry about
that for another five years. It’s like, no, no, no. You did you did this
food thing, but food impacts so many things,
that to be strategic and to work together, I think
you can get a lot more done. So I don’t know if I’m
arguing that it is a field or that it should
be comprehensive, but it should be. PETER BARTON HUTT: I’ve
never heard that said better. EMILY BROAD LEIB: I’d
say to that point, too, I think, also, if all those
people are competing and trying to get attention, rather
than working together that can be to the detriment. TAMA MATSUOKA WONG: I think
the only thing I would add, since I’m the on the
ground person here, we’re out picking stuff. Actually, we’re out on
organic farms and stuff. I would say that it’s
very complicated. And that it’s very easy– it’s not that easy, but
even if you come up with, like you said, the person
passing the law, or this. I would urge
everyone who is doing this to actually get on the
ground, harvest it yourself. Then you will start to see the
complexity of all sides of it, and that it really takes
people working together who are like-minded, but
there’s no passive rule, or an answer to everything. And things are
changing very fast. I mean, this year, in
terms of the weather, is impacting farmers and food
and all over, like incredibly. And so people are having
to come up with game plans behind game plans. So the execution of it, I feel,
is what’s really challenging. And that’s where
it’s a lot of work, but I can’t think of
anything more impactful. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Well, actually
on that, as a follow-up to you, because I think you also see
this piece from what you do, I mean, we’re talking about
this from a lot of angles. But one angle is just
consumers and what they’re willing to eat,
not willing to eat, what they’re wanting,
what they’re asking for. TAMA MATSUOKA WONG:
As you we’re saying that you could put
labels and things, but if nobody buys it
or it’s too expensive or they just think it looks
bad, so part of that’s why I did cookbooks. Because it’s a cookbook,
it’s very mainstream. I did put in NRDC and Emily’s
stuff into the food waste, went in there, so if they
read it several times, it will start getting
in their brain. But it’s, how do you
make it fun and cool? And that’s where
sometimes working with a lot of innovative
chefs that can come up with something that tastes
delicious and looks delicious, can be like something that
people are inspired to do. Because you can’t really
legislate your way into that. And there’s been huge
amounts of change of people wanting to
eat more vegetables and plants, eat lighter. That’s changing just by
demand, changing you by demand what food companies are doing. EMILY BROAD LEIB:
And I think on that, from our vantage
here in the clinic watching the development
of this field in our law school and other law schools– I’ll jump in, too, but maybe
Nate and Smita and Peter, too, from teaching
your own courses in the different institutions
you’ve now taught at, what do you see
changing within academia trying to address this? PETER BARTON HUTT: Nothing. Nothing. You have your traditional
agriculture courses, agriculture law courses. You have your traditional
food law courses. You have labor law courses. You’ve got corporate
organization courses. Everybody touches
on it, but no one has tried to pull it together. And what FDA is interested in
hasn’t changed in 100 years– safety and labeling. And they are so overwhelmed
with our food and drug supply, trying to just
do what they can do, that asking them to
take on anything else, they would just
throw up their hands and say, we don’t
have the resources. We don’t have the people. And we also don’t
have a mandate. TAMA MATSUOKA WONG: Well,
here’s a question I have, because I’m not an
academic, but you know, we have these land grant
agricultural universities, one for [INAUDIBLE]. So Cornell, since
I’ve lived down around that area,
Cornell and Rutgers, I have a beautiful
wild cranberry bog. I don’t know anything
about cranberries, but I want to save it. I don’t want it to turn
into some helicopter spray, the cranberry bog. So I go to the Cranberry
Growers Association. It’s dying out in New
Jersey because getting too hot down there, and it
really likes cool weather. And all the research
and everything, it was very interesting
for me, being an outsider. It’s all based on
all these new drugs. It’s all like, fungicide. It’s very one dimensional. These are all the
drugs that came out, and the university is
basically testing those drugs to see– now they’re
testing to see, oh, wait, that one that we’ve been using
for 20 years that killed all the pollinators, or it
did something to the bones in something. And it didn’t come
out, the studies, up until like 20
years later, when they saw the longer term effects. So that also seems to be this
completely separate component that isn’t tying into
these discussions. But these are the
people that are teaching the regular farmers
and stuff how to do things. And these are your choices. You can use drug A or
you can use fungicide B, and that’s all
that they’re told. They’re not told anything
else about all these issues we’re talking about. PETER BARTON HUTT:
But there’s a reason that they’re they’ve
only got one to use, because there’s a wonderful
statute, the Federal Insecticide Fungicide
and Rodenticide Act. And you have to get
a license from EPA to apply a new drug, or an
insecticide, to a cranberry. And in order to
do that, you have to invest about the
same amount of money as you do to develop a new
drug, a new human drug. So we have a regulatory
mechanism that constrains what people can do. EMILY BROAD LEIB: I would
argue, perhaps a little less well regulated
on the pesticide, through FIFRA than the FDA does. I mean, I agree with the FDA,
actually, for the most part, does what they’re
supposed to do well. Perhaps with more
resources, particularly on the labeling side,
they could do better. But I would disagree
with you, even though I love you,
Peter, on the fact that there are at
least attempts being made to incorporate a lot of
these things into courses. So I’ll respond and maybe– PETER BARTON HUTT: You
both described them then. EMILY BROAD LEIB: And
Smita Respond as well. I mean, this is what I try to do
my course, because the clinic, we’re working on
all these issues. Ona mentioned food
policy councils and that was a big part of her
work in the clinic. And now I’ll also point to my
new clinic staff over here, so Katie, Alyssa, Laura, anyone
else from the clinic here? But we’re all working on
these kinds of issues. I’ll think of one example. We’ve been doing work the
past few years in Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh
Food Policy Council. So the first
question they had was we want to help your
food in our schools. We have this one central
kitchen and it’s huge and we can’t figure out how
to produce healthy things and get them out. And Ona actually worked on this,
so you could fill in any gaps. So we went on this
whole investigation around their school food and
purchasing, what they wanted, what they were doing. Then they came back the next
year and said, all right, thanks for that. That was great. It actually was very successful. The superintendent of
schools incorporated into the strategic planning
for the school system. So that was a success. And now we’re working
with them on– they’re trying to work with
the local food safety agency, the Allegheny County Department
of Health, to figure out, are there modifications
that could be made to their local
food safety rules? Which we could go on forever
about also federalism in food safety, and who’s
in charge of what, but are there
modifications we can make so that small businesses
can produce more food and get past the
regulatory hurdles so we can have more development
of local businesses, small businesses,
more responsiveness to our community? So we’ve had to be the jack of
all trades in the clinic work, responding to all
these different issues. And the best way to do that is
to learn about them as much as possible as a set of issues. And I also will give a
shout out to two of my RAs who are here, Jack and
Nathaniel, who are also two of the heads of
our Food Law Society and have been helping
me do some research on the number of
courses and clinics, teaching what they’re
calling self-proclaimed food law and policy, separate in
many of the schools like here. We have a food and drug
law course separate from our food law
and policy course. And other schools have an
agricultural law course separate from their
food law and policy. So I’ll give you
a few data points on that because it’s a good
plug for the article, which will be coming out in January. It was submitted on
Sunday very late. So law school courses. So we looked at 2014,
there were, at the top, 100 law schools. 20 of them had, of course,
entitled food law and policy. Again, we track them
distinct from food and drug law or agricultural law,
so that was 24 years ago, or three years ago. And now, there are 34 at the
top at the same 100 schools. So over 150%, almost 150%
growth, in just three years in this set of 100 law schools. In terms of clinics, I
mentioned before, we have the first dedicated clinic. There’s now four food law
and policy dedicated clinics. And there is more than doubling
of the number of clinics that law schools that have
taken on food law matters and food policy matters,
which is interesting because I actually don’t
know what every clinic does. I only know what they do enough
of to advertise it as something that they do on their website. Now, there were 30 clinics
at 23 schools in 2014. There are now 69
clinics at 48 schools that on their own website,
they’re proclaiming, we work on the
following matters. And one of those
is a matter that’s a food food system matter. Most of these are transactional
or economic development clinics, a lot of
human rights clinics, and environmental clinics. So those are a couple
of data points. But I think there is something,
and in some ways, perhaps responding to the
fact that just looking at this from the
FDA perspective, leave something out. I’m going to let Smita
jump into and then– PETER BARTON HUTT: I just
want to make one thing clear. What you didn’t study is,
are they truly integrating the various things
we’re talking about, or are they looking at it from
an agricultural or a labor or an environmental standpoint? I was responding to you
about the integration, because what I don’t
see is the integration. I wish I did. Go ahead. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Smita. SMITA NARULA: So
I’m actually really excited about the way
this field is opening up, not just in law schools, but
in other academic institutions. And I think, like
many things, academia comes late to the party. And it starts in the streets. It starts in conversations. It starts in social movements. It starts in cafes. It starts in farms and
it starts in fields. And it’s now trickling
up to academia. And what is
happening right now– I don’t know that it
needs to be a field that covers every single
thing, but I do think it’s a field
that needs to be alive to the many different
facets that inform food, including issues
of accessibility, of justice, of health
and environment. What makes food so
powerful and what makes food so personal
to so many of us is because it’s a
deeply personal area in which all of these things
necessarily intersect. So it’s transformative potential
that draws me to the field. It’s the ability to look at
things through so many lenses, through something as comforting
and personal and powerful as food that I
think is exciting. And so should we then endeavor
to cover every single thing? I don’t think so, but it
does feel like a miss, then, to have
conversations about food without looking at structural
racism in the food system, for example. Or to even have
movements about labeling, et cetera, or food
safety, or conversations about artisanal food without
realizing that who has access to that kind of food and
who doesn’t, and who was raised over to grow that food? There are levels
and layers to this, and the food conversation
is not a new conversation. Our systems of,
slavery of colonialism, our current corporate
captured food regime is a grandchild of our
colonial food regime. And power and
domination in food, in terms of how it’s
made, who grows it, and who gets to eat
it, has been part of human history and society. We now have a moment where
food is taking center stage as an area where everybody
is paying attention from different vantage points. So certainly from
my point of view, it’s an incredible
opportunity to also then shed light on these
other issues, including environmental claims
and health issues, because we will not solve
the problems that we’re talking about if we
look at food in silos. And I think taking
Ona’s point, also, around community organizing
and stopping for a moment and thinking, well, I’m
here to talk about this, but I’m not going
to pretend that that means that I am able to talk
about that, all the rest of it. And what I love about
the clinical programs, that there’s a
client clinic model, is that it allows
for, when done well, the voices of those who are
on the front lines of these struggles right now and who
are the ones who are suffering the health consequences,
the environmental racism, the violence of the food, who
cannot afford to put enough nutritious food on their plates. Their voices have
to be in the center of both policy and academic
conversations and discussions. So for me, this feels like a
beautiful, tremendous opening, but it’s one that we really
have to allow ourselves to open and also become
uncomfortable with, to have those conversations that
are important to have now. I wanted to also
just take a moment to respond to the
micronutrients in Africa point. Because for me, one of the
ways in which the field is not so much transforming,
but getting dominated, is a particular narrative
that says not just in food, but otherwise, that technology
is going to solve our problems. And the adding of micronutrients
to seed or to food to fix a problem, a
structural problem of power and dispossession in the
global South or in communities here in the global
north, technology is not going to
solve that solution. And it’s offered again
and again, in terms of GM and the patenting of seeds. And we have to be really
careful about the ways in which certain narratives are
used as solutions to problems, but that only end
up in engendering more of those problems. So I think for me, I just wanted
to bring that in as an example where I’ve seen that example. And Raj Patel writes about
it and talks about it beautifully when he
talks about poverty, but with added my vitamins
and micronutrients, so look him up as well. EMILY BROAD LEIB: Do you
want to comment, Nate? NATE ROSENBERG: I thought
that was beautifully said. ONA BALKUS: I know, I’m
glad people are recording, because Smita always has these
nuggets of words put together so perfectly. PETER BARTON HUTT: Well, I have
a slightly different viewpoint, and I might as well
put it on there. My feeling is human
health comes first, and that I don’t want to see
people hungry and starving because we’re giving them food
that is non-nutritious, namely, what their indigenous
food is not what they ought to be eating. TAMA MATSUOKA WONG:
Why do you mean they’re indigenous food is not
what they should be eating? PETER BARTON HUTT: The
food at the local grocery store, or wherever,
whatever they’re getting. If they are hungry
and if they’re not getting enough vitamin D– TAMA MATSUOKA WONG:
OK, but hungry is different from nutrition,
if you don’t have enough. But I have a question
about indigenous food that people evolved eating
not being nutritious. It’s actually found
that indigenous food– if they don’t have enough
of it, that’s an issue– but indigenous food, I think
that’s an interesting value judgment we are placing
on other peoples, that their indigenous food
is not nutritious enough. NATE ROSENBERG: To go back
to what Smita was saying that about power, I think there’s
more and more research demonstrating that
if you really want to address the issues of
hunger and malnutrition, you have to address
the power balances. And so it’s not so
much a disagreement as to whether or not we need to
address them, but how to do so. PETER BARTON HUTT: I have
no difficulty with that. I worry about people who are
suffering from poor nutrition. SMITA NARULA: And I
think we could all agree that we want all
of us, not just people who’ve been so dispossessed– I worry about the
food that I’m eating and that I’m feeding
my young children, and what is the nutritional
value of that food? So much of the industrial
ag processing of our food has stripped the
value of that food. And here, I want to bring in
other frameworks and ideas that are trying to not only
restore real nutritional value in the food so it goes back to
food being medicine, as opposed to food being poisoned,
but that they’re doing it in a way that also gets at some
of these political concerns, and as a political project. Food sovereignty struggles
led at the global level by Via Campesina–
which is an incredible, and the largest social
movement in the world– is a movement of indigenous
people, small scale farmers, agricultural workers,
and migrant laborers, call it Via Campesina. And they have really started
to bring into the conversations the strategy of agroecology
as a strategy not just of growing much more
nutritious food, but doing it in
a way that leaves our planet and lands and
soil and water more resilient moving forward. But also as a political
project because it disconnects the dependency of
communities from the kinds of agricultural inputs
that agribusiness are creating, and putting
into the marketplace to increase dependency
on those inputs, and grabbing land
in order to have these monocropping
environments, et cetera. I say that in the context of
this conversation because one of the best ways to
ensure rights, agency, health is actually
to put power back in communities to
be able to grow healthful food in a way
that also gives them much greater agency, and over
how their food systems are created, and the ways in which
we interact with Mother Earth and nature to create that food. Indigenous food systems have
actually been one of the– when we talk about
indigenous peoples– one of the most helpful,
regenerative, restorative, and dignified ways of
growing and eating food. And it’s the erasure
of that that I think has led to this
public health crisis that we’re facing today,
that we’re all facing, but also that
indigenous communities and others are facing as well. So food sovereignty is really
about putting agency back in communities. Agroecology is the
methodology that gets that cooling the planet,
the carbon sequestration, nutrition, and politics. And it’s a much more
profound, challenging road, but a necessary one
and not the short cut that technology provides
without sinking deeper into these other issues. So I just put that out
there as a framework that I think is very powerful. EMILY BROAD LEIB: This
is getting interesting, a lot of disagreement. I’m going to let Ona jump
in because everyone else got to be part of the disagreement,
so you can disagree, too. And then I’m going to try
to put a frame on all this, and then actually
in a minute or two, we’re going to open
it up to you so you can pick out which
of these pieces you want to follow up more on. ONA BALKUS: Sure. I’m not going to add to– well, maybe I’ll add
to the disagreement. But I wanted to give two
examples because I think it’s always helpful
to have specifics and we’re talking a lot
about global issues, which is sometimes hard to
wrap your brain around. And two things that
actually I worked on here at the clinic that really
brought this conversation into sharp perspective. One, Emily mentioned we do a
lot of work with Navajo Nation. We’ve had a partnership
with them for several years, and that was my project. It was my baby. It was the hardest
thing to leave. And with the Navajo diet,
a lot of Navajo people in this country have very
high rates of chronic disease right now, and a lot of
what’s causing that is there’s high soda consumption. Actually, one of the foods
that is one of the hottest debates about whether
it’s an indigenous food is bread that they fry
in sometimes lard or oil and use the bread to eat
the other indigenous food. That bread actually
came from a time when Navajo people were
put on reservations by the federal
government and only given flour and oil and salt
and sugar to make anything, so they had to make this bread. So even the conversation about
whether it’s indigenous or not, the federal government kind
of imposed this food on them and now it’s one of the
least healthy foods they eat. And working with them was such
a great and humbling experience for me because it was
really a conversation about, OK, well, you guys got
us into this problem, the US government got
us into this problem, so how do you talk
about law and policy as a way to help them
regain their health and undo a lot of the harm
that was done by some, maybe arguably, well-meaning
government interventions a long time ago? So how do you use
the same tool that put them in this position
in the first place to help rebuild their health? And then another project we
worked on briefly– actually, Nate and I worked on it
together– was in Puerto Rico. And it was a
similar conversation about indigenous tube
vegetables they were eating. And federal government
nutritionists actually came to Puerto Rico and told
them to stop eating those, that they are
really bad for them, and to instead buy
the white pasta that was in these new supermarkets. And also, when SNAP came in,
when food stamps came in– great program that helps
low income communities– but when it came
in, you could only use it at the grocery stores. You couldn’t use
it at the market. So you couldn’t use it to
buy the indigenous foods. You could only use it
to buy what the grocery stores were selling. Several decades
later, here we are with also obesity
and very increased chronic diseases in the
populations that now eat mostly American Western foods. So I thought those were both
interesting examples of how this is coming into play. And I think
something as lawyers, and as we talk to our
clinical students a lot, about kind in with
using policy as a tool, but then being deferential
to your clients about how they actually
want you to use that, rather than coming
in with your cape on. EMILY BROAD LEIB: So I
want to say one thing and then I am really excited to
hear what questions you have. And they can be what we
talked about, or other. I mean, the next question
I would have asked would have been, there’s 800
other topics in food right now that are interesting, hot topics
that we haven’t touched on. So you can feel free
to ask about those and we’ll put
somebody on the spot. But I think this has really been
a good way for you to also see it’s not only that we’re
trying to pull together a lot of different fields
when we talk about this, but that even amongst people
who have shared goals and hopes, that there’s so much tension. And I think this
is something that’s a real challenge within
food, that we don’t have necessarily good
mechanisms to address some of those tensions. And part of it is because we
have many different agencies doing their own thing. FDA is doing what FDA does. I think they’re doing it well. USDA is doing what
their thing is. I don’t know if they’re
doing it as well. EPA, probably the
least well right now. And then there’s also not only
that, but different levels of government. And so I think, going
back to the point Peter made at the beginning
about this age old debate about having one
single food agency, I don’t know if it
would make it better, but I think certainly
the fact that there’s all these different agencies. And then as lawyers,
a lot of people come at this from a
discipline that was created with an agency focus. It makes it makes it
challenging to figure out how to deal with some
of these tensions, at the advocate level,
at the government level, at the teaching. In some ways, we’re
the most freedom, in the academic setting, because
I can teach whatever I want. I just have to teach it well so
that students will come back. And so I think this was just a
good example of some of that. And now I’d love
questions from you. and I know who I’m going to
call on if you don’t ask any.

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