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Agriculture Policy & Environmental Law (LAW-795P-001)
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It is often argued that individual food choice is the ultimate exercise of personal responsibility in our society. But what if that conventional wisdom was challenged, instead recognizing that a complex web of agricultural and food laws substantially influences what ends up on our plates, and ultimately affects the health of individuals, communities, and their ecosystems? These policies, and the regulatory mechanisms supporting them, play a vital role in determining health outcomes for our nation and the level of environmental impact to shared natural resources such as air, water, soil, and biodiversity, and thus will be explored in depth in this course. In the context of these policies, the course will cover diverse ecological and public health issues through the lens of federal environmental statutes. Because many of these issues are newly emerging topics, student participation in discussions is strongly encouraged. The course will conclude with a short research paper and a brief presentation on a topic of the student's choice. There are no prerequisites, but Administrative Law or Environmental Law is recommended.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
CLASS 1 (August 21): The Farm Bill: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Its Impact on Our
Nation’s Environment and Public Health
1) William S. Eubanks II, A Rotten System: Subsidizing Environmental Degradation and Poor Public Health with Our Nation’s Tax Dollars – available on Lexis or Westlaw at 28 STAN. ENVTL. L. J. 213, or at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1287408
2) Scott Marlow (RAFI-USA), The Farm Bill Tree: Understanding the Logic of the Farm Bill, available at http://www.rafiusa.org/docs/Farm%20Bill%20Tree.pdf
3) Mark Bittman, A Food Manifesto for the Future, available at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/a-food-manifesto-for-the-future/
OPTIONAL – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), Farming for the Future: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2012 Farm Bill, available at http://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/2012_3_21NSACFarmBillPlatform.pdf
OPTIONAL – Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, Farm Bill Budget Visualizer, available at http://www.jhu.edu/farmbillvisualizer/
OPTIONAL – Ken Cook, Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6T37m4r3yo&list=PLCE159C603C7ED781
The syllabus is available in the following format(s):