Food Law and Policy: An Essential Part of Today's Legal Academy
44 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2018
Date Written: January 17, 2018
In 2014, the authors of this article published the first analysis of the development and history of the relatively new academic field of Food Law & Policy (“FL&P”). As we defined the field in that article, FL&P “is the study of the basis and impact of those laws and regulations that govern the food and beverages we grow, raise, produce, transport, buy, sell, distribute, share, cook, eat, and drink.” FL&P was born out of two pre-existing fields: Food & Drug Law and Agricultural Law, but it differs from its parent fields in that it explores legal and policy issues regulation of food by various agencies, at all levels of government, and across the range of agricultural, health, labor, economic, environmental, and other issues that intersect with food. This broader analysis of the food system3 had not been part of the legal academy prior to 2004. For our 2014 article, we developed ten criteria to measure the breadth and depth of a legal-academic field. According to our analysis, FL&P met seven of the ten criteria in 2014, and was firmly entrenched in terms of course offerings, clinical projects, and scholarly writing. Now, four years later, the field meets all ten of our criteria, and its continued growth has solidified its place in legal academia. The present article endeavors to assess and discuss this growth by reviewing the same ten criteria of a legal-academic field and tracking developments in the four years since we collected our initial data. As the article details, FL&P’s newfound strength within each of our ten criteria demonstrates the field has grown strong roots.
Keywords: Food Law & Policy, Agricultural Law, Food & Drug Law, Legal Education
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