This task force will track evolving legal issues involving the growth, safety, transport, trade, distribution and marketing of food products and commodities, and serve as a discussion forum for the numerous attorneys who serve clients at every step in the international food supply chain.
The Food and Agriculture Task Force will focus on, among other topics, agriculture land usage; ownership and farmer’s rights; seed law; plant variety law; GMOs and related intellectual property; biotechnology and “new foods”; food safety and food liability; international trade in food and agriculture; and emerging legal and regulatory areas such as legalized and medical marijuana.
“We are living in a time of a truly international market for food and agriculture,” said Susan Burns, founder and co-chair of the Food and Agriculture Task Force and an attorney with Susan Burns LLC in Minneapolis. “As crops, food ingredients, and food products and beverages cross borders, they are subject to numerous regulatory schemes and legal pitfalls. And, with technological advances in the creation of new food products there is an increasing call for harmonization. Our goal with this new task force is to start a critical discussion among practitioners and increase awareness about this dynamic and incredibly complex industry.”
“One key area of focus for us is the increasing prevalence of litigation around food products, labels, and food contamination events,” said Kim. “Organic products, bioengineered foods, ‘natural foods’ — these types of products have been the focus of a flood of lawsuits. Our task force will be looking closely at litigation trends and providing resources to attorneys who are helping clients navigate this new legal environment.”
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