Fellow Bloggers and Readers:  I’m thinking about helping organize/sponsor a seminar at Seattle University School of Law here in Seattle in the Spring (less rain then) – April is most likely. Thoughts as to content and speakers would be most appreciated. Please feel free to pass this around to folks who are not avid readers of my blog (can’t imagine that). Happy Thanksgiving – and, cook that turkey well.

Who’s Minding the Store: The Current State of Food Safety and How It Can Be Improved

Few subjects draw more immediate attention or concern than the safety of the food we eat. Recent years have included a plethora of food warnings and recalls, raising new questions about the quality and integrity of our existing system for assuring food safety. Seattle was the epicenter of the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak that sickened 600 and killed four 15 years ago. In addition to explaining how our present system works, this program is intended to discuss how changing consumer preferences are affecting the development and distribution of food, examine whether Federal, state and industry oversight roles are changing, and discuss how the regulatory and judicial processes can be most efficiently balanced. Participants include national and local representatives of government, the food industry, consumer organizations and scientists.

Time Event/Topic – (Two or more days might be better?)

8:00 – 8:45  AM Sign-in and Continental Breakfast

8:45 – 9:00  AM Welcome and Overview

9:00 – 10:15  AM Session 1: Defining the Problem – How the concerns about food safety are viewed by physicians, disease experts, state regulators and consumers.

10:15 – 10:30  AM Refreshment Break

10:30 – Noon  Session 2: How the Regulation of Food Safety Works / Imports and Home Grown – The roles and responsibilities as seen by Federal and state regulators, industry and consumers

Noon – 1:00  PM Luncheon and Speaker

1:15 – 2:15  PM Session 3: Zones of Responsibility – Grower/Producer; Seller; Government; Consumer

2:15 – 3:15  PM Session 4: Roles of the Civil/Criminal Justice Systems – Perspectives of plaintiffs, respondents, prosecutors?

3:15 – 3:30  PM Refreshment Break

3:30 – 4:30  PM Session 5: What Is the Best Way to Assure Food Safety? The contributions of media, science and public health monitoring

4:30 – 5:00  PM Closing Remarks

Speakers to be announced