On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, a 60-Minute ABA Teleconference will held from 1:00 to 2:00 PM (eastern time), “Don't Eat That! Legal Issues in Food Safety.” The program description reads:
It seems that hardly a month goes by without a story about American food shoppers falling prey to another nasty pathogen lurking in the local supermarket. Several well-publicized outbreaks of food-related illness have created a rare political alignment. Angry consumers and a food industry haunted by the double specter of bad publicity and lawsuits both appear ready to embrace actions by the federal government to make the U.S. food supply safer, and the federal government has begun to take some of those steps.
In March, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a Food Safety Working Group to develop proposals for upgrading federal food safety laws and improving coordination among at least a dozen federal entities that share responsibility for the safety of the nation’s food supply. Some of the working group’s recommendations already are being put into effect.
Meanwhile, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would dramatically increase the oversight power of the Food and Drug Administration over much of the food sold in the United States, including imports. It appears certain that the legal framework for regulating food safety in the United States is going to change, and lawyers—especially those who represent companies in the food industry—are going to have to hustle to keep up.
What sorts of changes are likely and how effective they will be is currently being debated. While some see a consensus around the need for sweeping reform, others are concerned that proposals in the works are over-broad and will be detrimental to organic farmers and small producers among others.
Join our distinguished group of experts as they discuss the current situation of food safety law changes.
The Panelists are:
Neal D. Fortin, Director, Institute for Food Laws and Regulation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
James T. O'Reilly, Professor, University of Cincinnati, Chair, FDA Committee, American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Cincinnati, OH
Stuart M. Pape, Managing Partner, Patton Boggs LLP, Washington, DC
Register by phone at: 800.285.2221 or online at: http://www.abanet.org/cle/connection.html.