Last fall I got the opportunity to give a guest lecture at the University of Wisconsin Law School, which is where I went to law school.  It was for an innovative class called Transnational Regulation: Increasing the Safety of Globally-Sourced Products.  The University of Wisconsin has long been the home of the Food Research Institute, which has done groundbreaking research over the years on E. coli O157:H7, among other things.  So I was especially happy to receive news of what sounds like a great conference being held this month at the University:  Food Import Safety: Systems, Infrastructure & Governance.  This one-and-a-half -day conference will be held on May 26 and 27.  For more information about the program, and how to register, click on the Continue Reading link.

Dates: May 26 & 27, 2009 (One and one-half day conference)
Location: Tong Auditorium in Engineering Centers Building, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Registration is free-of-charge but space is limited
To register:  
For more information: go to website above and click on click on “event agenda and speaker list” or send an email to:
Sponsors: Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE), Engineering Professional Development (EPD), European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE), ISyE (Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering), and FRI (Food Research Institute), CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research, The China Initiative.

This conference will address food import safety from a variety of perspectives including systems analysis, infrastructure resilience, governance and policy analysis. Two morning plenary talks will set the stage by covering the origins of adulteration and contamination in rapidly developing economies, and by examining import violations found at both port and land-borders. An industry panel will address several aspects of supplier management and self governance, including supplier agreements. Another panel will discuss cost-effective sampling schemes, testing and detection technology advancements, and testing limitations. European speakers will discuss approaches from the European Food Safety Authority and European Commission used to regulate safety in imported foods, including the rapid alert system. A second day panel will be chaired by a well-known industry spokesman for food safety, who will be speaking to the way forward. This will include discussions of global approaches to food protection, as well as different forms of governance, including third party oversight.