Emily M. Broad Leib

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Food Law & Policy Clinic
23 Everett Street, #314

617-390-2590

Biography

Emily Broad Leib is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, and Deputy Director of the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation. She founded and directs the Food Law and Policy Clinic, the first law school clinic in the nation devoted to providing legal and policy solutions to nonprofit and government clients in order to address the health, economic, and environmental challenges facing our food system. Broad Leib is recognized as a national leader in Food Law and Policy. She teaches courses on the topic and focuses her scholarship and practice on finding solutions to today’s biggest food system issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, eliminate food waste, and reduce barriers to market entry for small-scale and sustainable food producers. She has published scholarly articles in the Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, and the Journal of Food Law & Policy, among others.

Broad Leib is a recipient of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund. Broad Leib’s project, “Reducing Food Waste as a Key to Addressing Climate Change,” was one of seven chosen from around the university to confront the challenge of climate change by leveraging the clinic’s food law and policy expertise to identify systemic solutions that can reduce food waste, which is a major driver of climate change. Broad Leib’s groundbreaking work on food waste has been covered in such media outlets as CNN, The Today Show, MSNBC, TIME Magazine, Politico, and the Washington Post.

Before joining the Harvard faculty, Broad Leib spent two years in Clarksdale, Mississippi as the Joint Harvard Law School/Mississippi State University Delta Fellow, serving as Director of the Delta Directions Consortium, a group of university and foundation leaders who collaborate to improve public health and foster economic development in the Delta. In that role, she worked with community members and outside partners to design and implement programmatic and policy interventions on a range of health and economic issues in the region, with a focus on the food system. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude. 

Areas of Interest

Emily Broad Leib et al., Consumer Perceptions of Date Labels: National Survey (Harv. Food L. & Pol'y Clinic, Nat'l Consumers League & Johns Hopkins Ctr. for a Livable Future, May 2016).
Categories:
Health Care
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Health Law & Policy
Type: Other
Abstract
Each year, 40% of the United States food supply goes to waste. The growing, transporting, processing, and disposing of this uneaten food costs us $218 billion each year, and two thirds of this lost economic value is due to household food waste. An important driver of household food waste is consumer confusion over date labels. Date labels are those dates that are applied to foods and accompanied by prefixes such as “sell by,” “best before,” and “use by,” among others. A U.K. study found that 20% of consumer waste occurs because of date label confusion. Because date labels are not federally regulated and state-level regulations, where they exist, are inconsistent, consumers face a dizzying array of unstandardized labels on their food products. Many people throw away food once the date passes because they mistakenly think the date is an indicator of safety, but in fact for most foods the date is a manufacturer’s best guess as to how long the product will be at its peak quality. With only a few exceptions, the majority of food products remain wholesome and safe to eat long past their expiration dates. When consumers misinterpret indicators of quality and freshness for indicators of a food’s safety, this increases the amount of food that is unnecessarily discarded. A recent report found that standardizing date labeling is the most cost-effective solution for reducing food waste, and could help to divert 398,000 tons of the food that is wasted each year. We conducted a survey to gain further insights into consumer perceptions of date labels. This survey was fielded online to a demographically representative sample of 1,029 adults from April 7-10, 2016. These questions were part of a CARAVAN® omnibus survey that is conducted twice a week by ORC International. The findings presented here are one piece of a larger analysis of consumer perceptions of date labels.
Emily Broad Leib et al., Fresh Look At Organics Bans And Waste Recycling Laws, 57 BioCycle 16 (2016).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
Health Care
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Agriculture Law
,
Water Law
,
Food & Drug Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Approximately 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is wasted annually. At a time when millions of Americans are food insecure and thousands of farmers struggle to stay afloat, the negative consequences of wasting food extend far beyond the environmental impacts and loss of resources that could have been otherwise allocated. There are great opportunities for food waste reduction at the federal level, but much can be done by states and localities, whose involvement in finding solutions to food waste and food recovery is vital. In recent years, states and localities have taken many steps to reduce food waste and enhance food recovery by providing state tax incentives to food donors, allocating funding to support food recovery and diversion infrastructure, reevaluating how schools handle food waste, and passing laws that ban organic waste from landfills. This article is excerpted from a newly released toolkit from the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) titled, “Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities,” which provides comprehensive information on eight different policy areas that states and localities can consider as they ramp up efforts to reduce food waste. Organic waste (organics) bans and waste recycling laws are one of eight solutions described in the toolkit (see Sidebar for other seven) to keep food waste out of the landfill. In addition to describing existing state and municipal organics bans and waste recycling laws, FLPC discusses why these laws provide promising models for other states and localities, and how they could be implemented and strengthened to increase diversion of food waste from landfills.
Emily M. Broad Leib, Keynote Remarks: Re-Tooling Law and Legal Education for Food System Reform: Food Law and Policy in Practice, 38 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1175 (2015).
Categories:
Health Care
,
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Food & Drug Law
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Baylen J. Linnekin & Emily M. Broad Leib, Food Law & Policy: The Fertile Field's Origins and First Decade, 2014 Wis. L. Rev. 557 (2014).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
Health Care
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Agriculture Law
,
Food & Drug Law
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Abstract
Legal knowledge, learning, and scholarship pertaining to the production and regulation of food historically centered around two distinct fields of law: Food & Drug Law and Agricultural Law. The former focuses on the regulation of food by the Food and Drug Administration under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, while the latter examines the impacts of law on the agricultural sector’s production of food and fiber. Neither field—alone or in tandem—focuses in whole or in part on many of the most pressing legal issues that currently impact our food system. Consequently, elements of these two fields converged roughly one decade ago to create a significant and distinct new field of legal study: “Food Law & Policy.” This field explores legal and policy issues well outside the scope of Food & Drug Law and of Agricultural Law to address important questions about food that had never been explored fully within the legal academy. Food Law & Policy embraces a broader study of laws and regulations at all levels of government that impact the food system—covering everything from local regulations pertaining to farmers’ markets or food trucks to federal policies pertaining to obesity or hunger. Food Law & Policy now enjoys a strong and growing presence throughout the legal academy. This Article introduces ten categories of original empirical data to document the field’s vitality—including figures on law school courses, legal scholarship, clinical legal programs, and student societies at U.S. law schools. It details the past and present of Food & Drug Law and Agricultural Law alongside that of Food Law & Policy. The Article demonstrates that Food Law & Policy has proven to be a timely and vibrant addition to the legal academy and suggests next steps in the ongoing development of the field.
Baylen J. Linnekin & Emily M. Broad Leib, Food and the Law, in Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies 238 (Ken Albala ed., 2012).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
Health Care
Sub-Categories:
Agriculture Law
,
Food & Drug Law
Type: Book
Abstract
This chapter discusses the field of food law, including both describing existing areas of law pertinent to food law and identifying burgeoning subjects for research within the field. Topics include the history of food safety law in the United States; the regulation of food conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and other federal agencies; increasing food regulation at the state and local level; food and the environment; old and new conceptions of public health, including the growing focus on obesity and diet-related disease; food access, food insecurity and food deserts; and alternative food systems such as local, organic, and sustainable foods.
Emily M. Broad Leib, All (Food) Politics is Local: Increasing Food Access through Local Government Action, 7 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. 321 (2013).
Categories:
Health Care
,
Government & Politics
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
State & Local Government
,
Food & Drug Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Our national and international food system has implications for a wide range of issues that are important across the political spectrum and include improving health outcomes, reducing environmental impacts, increasing social justice, fostering economic development, and even improving homeland security. This article focuses on healthy-food access, one of the most urgent food policy issues because of its social and economic effects, as well as its public health impacts. In 2010, thirty-six percent of Americans were obese and another thirty-three percent were overweight, while eight percent of Americans were diabetic and thirty-five percent suffered from pre-diabetes. Though food access is not perfectly correlated with public health outcomes, those with limited access to healthy foods often suffer most acutely, as people living in areas with access to a supermarket exhibit a twenty-four percent lower prevalence of obesity than those living in areas without supermarkets. Increased food access has been linked to results as diverse as improved educational outcomes and crime reduction. Local governments have been particularly attentive to food policy concerns. Thirteen cities in North America now have a paid local food policy director or coordinator, and more than 130 cities and counties in the United States and Canada have local food policy councils, comprised of diverse stakeholders interested in improving the way food is produced and consumed. Municipalities have enacted a range of food policy reforms, such as increasing governmental procurement of local or healthy foods, improving access to food in schools, and incentivizing consumers to purchase healthy foods. Many recent local actions focus explicitly on increasing healthy-food access, including amending zoning codes to increase urban agriculture, creating new mobile vending outlets, and enhancing transportation routes to healthy-food retailers. In January 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) convened its first ever Food Policy Taskforce, which immediately identified increasing access to healthy foods as one of its primary areas of concern. Local governments are also beginning to acknowledge that each locality faces its own food-system challenges with differing policy solutions, meaning that local responses to local issues can be more successful than federal or state approaches. This article aims to encourage those localities not yet active in food policy to join the field. The discussion focuses on methods of fostering access to healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed, fresh products. Local governments are particularly well suited to increase food access because they have the unique ability to identify areas of need and then work with local constituents to craft targeted responses. Part II explains the concept of “food deserts,” or areas that lack healthy-food access, and provides historical context about their development. As described in Part II.A, the federal government has attempted to respond to the problem, but its efforts have suffered as a result of its narrow food-desert definition and limited ability to work directly with affected communities. Instead, as explained in Part II.B, local government is better suited to address food access because food is such a cultural and community-based issue, and local input is vital to successfully expand food access. This section identifies steps that local governments should take to engage the community and identify appropriate solutions. Part III highlights policy responses taken by localities around the country and across the food system, illustrating that despite the similarities in the problem of limited food access, local governments have a variety of tools to address this issue and can and should tailor responses to their specific needs in order to achieve success.
Emily M. Broad Leib, The Forgotten Half of Food System Reform: Using Food and Agricultural Law to Foster Healthy Food Production, 9 J. Food L. & Pol'y 17 (2013).
Categories:
Health Care
,
Environmental Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Agriculture Law
,
Food & Drug Law
Type: Article

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Food Law & Policy Clinic
23 Everett Street, #314

617-390-2590