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Top 10 Lawyers Working to Improve the Food System

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Anna Brones
Anna Brones

I admit this post is somewhat self-serving. But I am getting weary of so many lists (like this one) celebrating heroes of the food movement that leave out an entire category of professionals that deserve a little respect. They may not be as famous as Alice Waters but they are working just as hard, maybe even harder. So here, in no particular order, are ten lawyers doing critical work to improve how we eat.

1) Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety and veteran warrior fighting Monsanto and GMOs.

2) Steve Gardner, director of litigation for Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of the few lawyers willing to sue the likes of McDonald's over marketing to children.

3) Mark Gottlieb, executive director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which was working on legal solutions to the obesity epidemic before it became popular. (h/t also to senior staff attorney Cara Wilking)

4) Doug Blanke, founder and executive director of the Public Health Law Center, which provides legal analysis and technical assistance on a variety of issues, including healthy eating.

5) Samantha Graff, research director at ChangeLab Solutions (formerly Public Health Law and Policy), which provides legal analysis and technical assistance on childhood obesity.

6) Jonathan Lovvern, senior vice president for Animal Protection Litigation & Investigations at the Humane Society of the United States, which has long fought to improve the lives of farm animals.

7) Bill Marler, pioneer in food safety litigation through his law firm, Marler Clark, a tireless advocate for outbreak victims, and publisher of the indispensable Food Safety News.

8) Ellen Fried, adjunct professor of food policy at New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and assistant attorney general for New York State.

9) Jennifer Pomeranz, director of legal initiatives for the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, which does important research and advocacy.

10) Angela Campbell, professor of law at Georgetown University and long-time advocate fighting to stop predatory marketing to children.

Of course this list is not exhaustive and my apologies to those I've left out. The good news is the number of lawyers fighting against the food industry is growing. We sure need them, especially as the battles with Big Food get uglier, so let's remember to acknowledge them for their hard work. Thank you.

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