Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Legal Regulation of Food

I know I owe the world an entry on our wonderful Easter-versary brunch at Spiaggia, and it's on the way, but I wanted to briefly mention a couple of interesting items on law and food. My university is particularly involved in these issues, and I thought it would be nice to bring them to your attention.

First is a column by William Saletan on "The War on Fast Food," where he predicts the development of a crusade against the fast food industry. Saul Levmore, the dean of the UofC law school, has been blogging on this topic recently, and both are worth reading.

Also on the Chicago Law Faculty Blog, Jeff Leslie and Cass Sunstein have been posting on animal welfare regulation. In short, they propose the adoption of labeling standards indicating the level of animal cruelty involved in the production of meat for food. As with Free-Trade coffee and free-range chickens, consumers can make their preferences felt through their buying habits since the treatment of the animals involved would be more salient. It's an interesting proposal, but it seems to raise some of the same concerns that I have written about regarding the moral indignation accompanying "organicism," i.e. the potential for poor people who chose to purchase the presumably cheaper meat from cruelly treated animals to be viewed with disdain and disgust by those capable of paying the cruelty-free premiums. Such people will be forced to choose between providing for their families or following their moral disinclination to eat meat from cruelly treated animals.

No comments: