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United States Food Law Update: Initial Food Safety Restructuring Efforts, Poultry Production Contract Reforms and Genetically Engineered Rice Litigation

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Document pages: 36 pages

Abstract: This edition of the food law update will address recent events that may serve as bellwether signs that significant, long sought changes to the food and agricultural production system may be on the horizon. The first section of the update focuses on several general food safety initiatives. These efforts may, in the near term, coalesce into comprehensive food safety legislation. The second section analyzes two food safety actions relating to specific product categories: oysters and eggs. Section three provides a brief overview of poultry production contracts that may signal a broader restructuring of the legal relationships between farmers and the upstream corporations, which heavily influence production practices. Although none of the events alone create drastic change, combined they reveal a political atmosphere primed for larger restructuring of the food system. Finally, section four discusses two significant jury verdicts in the on-going genetically engineered rice litigation that imposes liability on the developer of genetically engineered seed that became commingled in the international rice supply chain. As in previous editions of this update, necessity dictates that not every change is included; rather, the authors limited their analysis to significant changes within the broader context of food production, distribution, and retail. The intent behind this series of updates is to provide a starting point for scholars, practitioners, food scientists, and policymakers determined to understand the shaping of food law in modern society. Tracing the development of food law through these updates also builds an important historical context for the overall development of the discipline.

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