Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy Newsletter

Fall 2015

Resnick Program Co-Sponsors Conference on Antibiotics in the Food System

UCLA School of Law's Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy co-sponsored the second annual Harvard Law School-UCLA Food Law and Policy conference, “Drugs, Animals, and Food: Law & Policy of Antibiotics in the Food System.” Participants, including legal, scientific, environmental and animal welfare experts, explored the problematic overuse of antibiotics in food-producing animals and how this leads to antibiotic resistance in humans. They discussed state and private actions to curb antibiotic use, including the new California law banning subtherapeutic antibiotic use in food-producing animals and Subway’s recent announcement that antibiotics will be phased out of all the company’s animal protein products during the next 10 years. The presenters collectively agreed that federal action to date has been insufficient, and discussed the comparative Danish experience, where national legislation limiting subtherapeutic antibiotic use—based on the trust and mutual understanding between government, farmers and veterinarians—has found much success. The Resnick Program remains engaged in ongoing research on reducing problematic antibiotic use in the food system. The program’s findings will be published in the coming months.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Joins the Resnick Program

As global distinguished fellow, she will conduct in-depth research to address gender gaps in the right to food policy-making process as the basis of her next public report

Hilal Elver, the newly appointed United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, has joined the Resnick Program. A 2009 graduate of the S.J.D. program at UCLA School of Law, she will serve as the program’s global distinguished fellow, conducting in-depth legal research to address gender gaps in legislative frameworks and policies related to food security and nutrition, among other topics related to the right to food.

The empowerment of women is one of the key issues Dr. Elver has identified for the UN General Assembly as the focus of her tenure as special rapporteur. Her research will address the key roles women play in ensuring food security, analyze the effect of unpaid care work on women’s right to food and consider the need for mainstreaming gender in the policy-making process. Dr. Elver will be assisted in her research by LL.M. student Yashasavi Datta ’16, who has received a UC Global Food Initiative Fellowship as part of the initiative, launched by UC President Janet Napolitano in 2014, to align the university’s research and outreach to develop, demonstrate and export solutions for food security and sustainability. The research conducted by Dr. Elver will be used in a future report to the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in March of 2016.

Dr. Elver talks more about the connection between food and the climate, which was the basis of her most recent report to the United Nations, as well as her goals for her time with the Resnick Program in a detailed Q&A discussion.

Resnick Program Appoints Inaugural Advisory Board

The Resnick Program has appointed its first advisory board. From former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin to Sam Kass, who served as the White House executive chef, its members include leaders working at the forefront of food policy issues. They represent fields ranging from government, academia and public service to the legal profession and business sector. The board will provide a network of support for the Resnick Program and will help guide its development, growth and impact. Members will participate in discussions on the program’s goals, activities and future plans, and they will also be consulted on how to achieve the Resnick Program’s objectives. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the most talented and innovative individuals working to address our nation’s pressing food law and policy concerns,” Michael Roberts, executive director of the Resnick Program, said. “Their contributions, experience and guidance will be invaluable in advancing the Resnick Program’s work to improve the modern food system.”

Recent Event Addresses Hunger and Food Insecurity in the LGBT Community

The Resnick Program and The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, along with the New York City Food Policy Center, convened a panel discussion in June on food insecurity in the LGBT community. A recent research report by The Williams Institute found that, counter to popular stereotypes of affluence in the LGBT community, this population struggles with higher rates of food insecurity than the rest of Americans – indeed 27% of LGBT adults experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family, as compared to 17% for the non-LGBT population. The event, which was moderated by Kim Kessler, Resnick Program policy and special programs director, featured leaders from both the food policy and LGBT communities. Barbara Turk, New York City’s food policy director, delivered introductory remarks and talked about the importance of raising the visibility of LGBT needs and challenges.

Resnick Program Hosts Visiting Scholar Diana Winters

During fall 2015, the Resnick Program is pleased to host Visiting Scholar Diana Winters. Winters is an associate professor of law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she teaches Torts, Introduction to Health Law and Policy, Environmental Law, Food and Drug Law and Food Law and Policy. Her current research involves the judicial review of health and safety regulation.


She talks about her interest in food law and her upcoming work in a Q&A with the Resnick Program.

Resnick Program Launches Food Fraud Project with Food Law Scholar Whitney Turk

Food Law Scholar Whitney Turk is working with the Resnick Program to develop a toolkit on economically motivated adulteration (EMA)—the process by which components of a food are diluted, substituted, omitted or concealed for the purpose of economic gain—and its enforcement as well as its connections to other food policy issues. The EMA toolkit will provide an overview of the topic, explain government regulation and soft law approaches to dealing with EMA, and provide guidance and recommendations to consumers and advocates. The Resnick Program intends to release the toolkit with further EMA-related work currently in development. Turk’s ongoing research and writing will address the connection between food authenticity and sustainability and the ways that everyone in the farm-to-fork supply chain can benefit from eliminating opportunities for fraud. Turk, who joined the Resnick Program in July 2015, earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2014. Before law school, she earned an M.A. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union and Pacific School of Religion and an M.A. in English Education from Brooklyn College. As an undergraduate at Colorado College, she majored in Religion and English with a minor in Creative Writing.

Summer Fellows Conduct Research on Local Food Policy Matters

The Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy hosted three student fellows this summer—Tiana Carriedo, Alana Siegel and Austin Bryniarski—who researched local food policy matters in Los Angeles.

Tiana Carriedo is a J.D. candidate at UCLA School of Law. In 2014, Carriedo was a visiting fellow at the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego, where she authored a report on enforced disappearances in Mexico. During law school, she has served as an editor of the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs and is currently serving as a co-chair for the Animal Law Society. Carriedo holds an M.Sc. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. in history from UCLA. Her research interests are in animal law, food law, human rights, trade, development and Latin America.

Alana Siegel received a B.A. in Psychology from Lafayette College in 2013, and is currently a J.D./M.B.A. student at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is expected to graduate in 2017. At Wash. U., she is the associate managing editor of the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. As a 2L staff editor Alana’s note, “NAFTA Largely Responsible for the Obesity Epidemic in Mexico,” was selected for publication, and is set to appear in the 51st volume of the journal in early 2016. 

Austin Bryniarski is in his senior year at Yale College, where he majors in Environmental Studies with a concentration in food and agriculture. He writes for various campus publications, is a founding board member of the Yale Food Law Society and co-runs Harvest, an orientation program that takes incoming freshmen on weeklong trips to farms throughout Connecticut. He is interested in legal approaches to food systems planning.

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Ahmed Holman

Sara Ahmed Holman ’12 is corporate commercial counsel at Weebly, a global platform that  lets people easily create a unique website, blog or online store.  She was previously an associate at Bryan Cave LLP, where she worked in the firm’s Food and Beverage team. She also runs The Organic Lawyer, a website that helps consumers understand food labels and the importance of conscious eating and integrates tips for cooking easy, healthy recipes. She discusses her work here and shares advice for those pursing food law careers.

Upcoming Event

Breaking Taboo: Leading Animal and Environmental Groups to Discuss Population, Human, and Animal Rights
November 4, 2015
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
UCLA School of Law,  Room 1447
RSVP here 
Food will be provided.

Carter Dillard, director of litigation with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director with the Center for Biological Diversity, will discuss the vital connections between animal agriculture, human population growth, environmental protection, and systems of rights – both human and animal. They will explain how to use this synergy – along with advocacy, creativity, and legal action – to get beyond the stigma and taboo that usually keep population growth and our diets out of conversations. They will suggest legal reforms and practical ways for each of us to create a better future for all species.

Please see the event website for more information.


Co-Sponsored by the UCLA School of Law Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, Environmental Law Society and Food Law Society.