speaking

I'll Discuss My Book, Class-Action Food Lawsuits in Trio of Midwest Law-School Appearances Next Month

Fresh off a talk earlier this month at the University of Washington Law School, where I discussed my critically acclaimed book Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable, I’ll be spending several days on the road next month to speak at three of the Midwest’s best law schools.

On March 5, I’ll give a book talk at the University of Missouri Law School in Columbia. Later in the month, on March 28, I’ll give another book talk, this one at University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. Both talks are sponsored by the law schools’ respective Federalist Society chapters.

In the middle of the month, on March 16, I’ll take part in what’s sure to be a fascinating symposium put on by the Loyola Consumer Law Review at Loyola University Law School in Chicago. The symposium, "A Classless Act: Have Class Actions Lost Their Effectiveness as a Consumer Protection Tool?", focuses on the abuse and diminishing effectiveness of class-action lawsuits.

I’ll sit on a mid-day panel, "Class Actions That Give Bad Names: A Look at What Some Call Frivolous Litigation," alongisde Loyola Law School Prof. Jim Morsch. My talk will focus on class-action litigation targeting food makers, including suits targeting Wrigley and Subway. Later on, I’ll contribute an article which expands on my remarks to the Consumer Law Review’s 2018 Symposium Issue.

I’m grateful for these invitations to speak to and with law students and faculty members next month!

Food Law Speaking, Writing, & Teaching Updates

I recently returned from Los Angeles, where I served as a guest faculty member at UCLA Law School, which played host to law students from around the country as part of the Food Law Student Leadership Summit. It's my third year of teaching at the (now) three-year old summit, which brings together smart and interested Food Law & Policy students from around the country for a series of seminars, lectures, and workshops on a variety of food-law topics.

My seminar at UCLA focused on the law as it applies to foraging (e.g., for mushrooms), which is the subject of one of two law review articles I'm currently writing. The foraging article will appear in an upcoming edition of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. The other article, which I wrote with my frequent collaborator Emily Broad Leib, is an update to our 2014 article on the field of Food Law & Policy. The earlier article appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review. Our current article will be published by the Journal of Food Law & Policy.

I've also been working on other writing assignments of late. One such article is out in print but not yet online. It's an essay for the American Bar Association's GP Solo magazine. The article focuses on federal GMO regulation. Here's an ABA summary of my article.

Did you ever wonder where your food comes from? GMOs Engender Passion (and That’s a Poor Basis for Lawmaking) by Baylen J. Linnekin explains what is a genetically modified organism and discusses current laws pertaining to GMO agriculture and foods (including a recent federal GMO-labeling law). Linnekin also explains the role of three U.S. agencies (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency) in regulating GMO agriculture and food and highlights recent and ongoing controversies pertaining to GMOs. The author argues that people are free to tout what they believe are the wonders or horrors of GMO foods and discusses whether the government’s policy on GMOs should be a neutral one.

Did you ever wonder where your food comes from? GMOs Engender Passion (and That’s a Poor Basis for Lawmaking) by Baylen J. Linnekin explains what is a genetically modified organism and discusses current laws pertaining to GMO agriculture and foods (including a recent federal GMO-labeling law). Linnekin also explains the role of three U.S. agencies (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency) in regulating GMO agriculture and food and highlights recent and ongoing controversies pertaining to GMOs. The author argues that people are free to tout what they believe are the wonders or horrors of GMO foods and discusses whether the government’s policy on GMOs should be a neutral one.

Stay tuned for a link to my ABA article once it's live online. If you're starved for Food Law & Policy readings, check out this piece from the recent Washington Lawyer magazine that quotes me and several colleagues.

Finally, here's an update on my upcoming speaking appearances. In January, I'll be giving a book talk at University of Washington Law School as part of the school's Social Justice Tuesdays. The talk is co-sponsored by the law school's Food Law & Policy Association and its Environmental Law Group. In March, I'll travel to Ann Arbor to give a book talk at University of Michigan Law School. That talk is co-sponsored by the school's Federalist Society chapter and its Food Law Society.

That's all for now. I expect that I'll have more updates next month.

Book Review, Anniversary, Speaking Appearances & More

My book Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable, just celebrated the one-year anniversary of its publication. I've been overwhelmed by the critical acclaim the book has received, and from the warm words about the book that many of you--friends, scholars, food-policy experts, farmers, food producers, and others--have shared with me since the book's publication.

Book critics have also had wonderful things to say about the book. For example, a very positive recent review published by Kirkus Reviews, which bills itself as providing "the most authoritative book reviews, recommendations and author interviews in publishing," calls Biting the Hands that Feed Us "a provocative critique of current food policy from a libertarian perspective." You can read praise from critics at Politico, Huffington Post, Booklist, Foreword, Reason, Men's Journal, Civil Eats, Acres U.S.A., the Midwest Book Review, and more here

Next month, I'll be giving a book talk at St. John's University Law School in New York City, and speaking as part of Fordham University Law School's annual Cooper-Walsh Colloquium. This year's colloquium is titled "Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple: A Conversation About Urban Food Policy." I'll also travel to rural Wisconsin for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund board meeting, the first in-person meeting since I joined the board last year. In November, I'll travel to UCLA Law School to serve as a guest faculty member at the 3rd Annual Student Food Law Summit. And this spring I'll be giving a book talk at University of Michigan Law School (date TBD).

As the summer turns to autumn, I hope your horizon appears as busy and bright as my own!

Find Me Writing, Speaking, and Gleaning

I'm pleased to provide an update here on some of my recent and ongoing work.

My latest piece for the New Food Economy was published today. In the lengthy article--which runs around 4,000 words--I describe details of a fascinating recall of potentially hazardous egg rolls last year, explain the role previously unreported FDA and USDA bickering played in the recall, and describe the complex and confusing overlap of agency regulatory authority. I'm very happy with the piece, which I think really pops thanks to documents I obtained through a FOIA request I filed with the USDA in November. I also continue to write weekly for Reason. Please check out my columns here.

On the speaking front, my fall calendar is also quite busy already. I'll be conducting a book talk and webinar for Northwestern University Alumni Association on Sept. 28. I'm a proud alum of Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy (MA '01). In October, I'll be in Wisconsin for the annual meeting of the board of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, where I'm a board member. I'll then travel to New York City, where I'll first give a book talk at St. John's University Law School (Oct. 19) and then discuss an article I'm writing about foraging as part of Fordham Urban Law Journal's annual Cooper-Walsh Colloquium (Oct. 20). The following week, I'll deliver a book in Seattle to a group of home economists, Euthenics of the Greater Seattle Area. And in November I'll again take part (for the third year in a row) as a guest faculty member at the annual Food Law Student Leadership Summit. This year's summit is hosted by UCLA Law School.

Finally, I'm thrilled to report on some volunteer work I've done in recent months with a terrific Seattle nonprofit, FareStart. I serve as a Food Recovery Ambassador and Food Recovery Committee member with FareStart as they work to expand their outreach to farmers and food hubs in service of reducing food waste, combating food insecurity, and training culinary professionals. Additionally, I take part in FareStart’s volunteer gleaning efforts. I've had the good fortune to reach out to farms and food hubs about recovering excess food, helped to plan FareStart's food-recovery efforts, and visited farms outside Seattle to pick excess produce. I've already helped glean nearly 200 lbs. of blueberries that FareStart has turned into food its budding culinary professionals serve to Seattleites in need.

Biting the Hands that Feed Us: Media & Speaking Updates

I've had a whirlwind month of national and local media and public speaking appearances to promote my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us, which currently sits at #7 on Amazon's list of top-selling Environmental Law books.

Last month I had book talks and signings in Iowa and North Carolina, took part in a book webinar hosted by the Security & Sustainability Forum, and took part in a book talk and signing at Washington, DC's leading bookseller, Politics & Prose. You can watch my Politics & Prose book talk here.

Media coverage of the book has only increased in recent weeks. Here are some highlights:

On the academic front, I've also recently given talks at UCLA's Luskin Center and at law schools in Vermont, Maine, and Minnesota. Tomorrow, I'll travel to North Carolina for a book talk and signing at Wake Forest University's Pro Humanitate Institute and serve as a guest lecturer in a Food Law & Policy classroom at Wake University Law School. Other upcoming talks include stops in Hawaii and Oregon.

You can keep up with my speaking appearances here. To schedule a media appearance or book talk, please contact me here.