Food Systems Law and Policy

Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 20/20
Credits: 3
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • T
  • 0920-1120
  • WB162
01/24/2023 04/25/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

This course explores how laws and policies — by legislative design, judicial interpretation, and agency or private-party implementation — have shaped and continue to shape the industrial food system in complex and sometimes controversial ways. Among other topics, we will examine historical and contemporary farm policies; the evolution of agribusiness and integrated supply chains; the costs and benefits of concentration in different sectors of the food industry; agricultural biotechnology and associated intellectual property protections; and debates regarding food aid and international trade. We will also consider efforts at various levels of government and by private parties to address certain costs and risks associated with the industrial food system, including through regulation of environmental harms, animal welfare, labor conditions in corporate supply chains, and the safety risks presented by chemical additives and food-borne pathogens. Students will be exposed to a variety of different areas of the law, and an effort will be made to contextualize current events.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required periodically to submit brief reaction papers directly to the instructor (not via EXPO) regarding the assigned readings. Students also will be required to submit a final 10-15 page paper via EXPO by noon on the final day of the exam period.

Other Work
Students will be expected to participate in weekly class discussions.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: American Food Governance (LAW 7169)
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Thursday, April 20, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM