MSU College of Law

Course Descriptions

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Course descriptions are also available on the MSU College of Law Registrar’s Course Descriptions page.

Administrative Law: Food Safety and Labeling (810K, 3 credits)
Administrative law is the body of constitutional, statutory, and common law principles that both constrain and seek to legitimize the exercise of powers by governmental agencies. The history of food safety and labeling regulations in the United States begins in the late 1800s and continues through present day, culminating recently in the 2011 enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which creates a new system of federal oversight of domestically produced and imported food products. This course introduces students to the essential elements of administrative law and follows the basic structure of an administrative law course, but diverges from the traditional study by using cases and problems that are specific to food safety and food labeling issues in the United States. The primary goal of the class is to provide students with knowledge of the fundamental administrative law principles applied in matters involving the regulation of food and food products, and the ability to apply these principles to problems similar to those encountered in actual practice. To the extent possible, this class will be taught from a practice-oriented approach, requiring students to engage in problem-solving exercises online.

Advertising Law: Food Focus (course code 810T, 3 credits)
This course covers the regulation of advertising consumer products in the United States with a focus on the advertising of food products.  Topics may include the general rules governing advertising, the various types of claims, including claims associated with food and FDA regulated claims,  understanding  claims vs. puffery, comparative advertising, evaluating the required substantiation required to support various types of claims, environmental marketing claims (“green” claims), the use of endorsements and testimonials, issues in advertising in social media,  the right of publicity (use of one’s name and likeness in advertising activities), the regulation of consumer contests and sweepstakes, intellectual property issues in advertising, and some miscellaneous topics such as ambush marketing and native advertising.

Animal Health, World Trade, and Food Safety (810E, 3 credits)
The objective of this online course is to familiarize students with the history, development and workings of the OIE, with particular emphasis on its role as the organization responsible for setting international standards for animal health and zoonoses, and attention to its new mandates for animal welfare and food safety. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Biotechnology Law and Food Products (810P, 2 credits)
This course explores the impact of biotechnology on food production and food safety. After an introduction to biotechnology and the breadth of biotechnology-created foods available, the class will focus on the regulation of food safety and its environmental impact, both in the U.S. and internationally. Students will discuss the impact of public perception on the biotechnology agriculture and transgenic animals industries. No scientific or other class pre-requisites are required. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Current Issues in Food Law (810S, 2 credits)
Food law is a dynamic area of law, with rapidly evolving technologies, frequent revisions to the global regulatory landscape, and continually changing consumer demands. This course augments a three-day seminar on current and emerging issues food law. The course requires students to engage with expert speakers and with one another to analyze international, transnational, and national food law and policy. Emphasis is placed on understanding the cutting-edge and controversial aspects of food law and policy. This course is offered the summer of every even year.

Codex Alimentarius (810F, 3 credits)
This course is to familiarize students with the history, development and workings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in formulating and harmonizing food standards and ensuring their global implementation. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Food Regulation in Asia (810J, 3 credits)
This online course provides students with an overview of the systems of food regulation practiced in Asia, including some of the cultural and social-economic factors which influence the regulation of food products in the specific region.

Food Regulation in Canada (810C, 3 credits)
This course is designed for anyone who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the flow of food and agricultural products as they make their way from the farm gate to the grocery store shelves in Canada. This course will examine federal statutes and regulations including the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act, the Fish Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Act. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Food Regulation in the European Union (810B, 3 credits)
This online course enables students to study the factors influencing the development of food regulation in the EU. By making full use of the internet, students will gain access to relevant documentation in support of their professional needs and, having followed the course, students will be able to make an informed interpretation of the content. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Food Regulation in Latin America (810G, 3 credits)
This online course is designed to introduce food industry professionals and university level students to food law and regulation as it is currently practiced in Latin America. Perspectives from regulatory, commercial and consumer interests will be taken into account. The events taking place in Latin America in food law and regulation will be linked, when appropriate, to the broader movements underway in other regions and on an international basis. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Food Regulation in the U.S. (810A, 3 credits)
An online course designed for anyone who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the regulation of food products in the United States including issues such as food and food safety regulation, regulatory compliance, HACCP, the regulation of genetic modifications, food additive regulation, food labeling, dietary supplements, the protection of the food supply, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Foundations of Law and Legal Research (807A, 2 credits)
This online course provides an introduction to the American legal system with a special focus on the research and writing needs of international scholars and non-lawyers (focus on American jurisprudence). This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program or the Dubai M.J. Program.

Halal Food: An Introduction to Islamic Laws and Ethics (545K, 2 credits)
The unexpected growth in halal foods has necessitated that scientists, legal practitioners and other professionals, and thought leaders active in global food markets be conversant with Islamic dietary laws and ethics. This course will introduce students to the religious foundations of Islamic dietary laws, ethics and customs relating to food generally, and as they particularly relate to consumption and to commercial food production. We will study certain discreet topics as well, such as alcohol and gelatin, and the interaction of national laws with Islamic ethics, and the process of halal certification. The study of many topics will include consideration of kosher laws and practices.

Inside the Law of the FDA Produce Safety Rule (810X, 2 credits)
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.

International Business Transactions (512B, 2 credits)
This course is an introduction to international business transactions. We will explore the following general topics: agreements for the international trading of goods, financing the international sale of goods, establishing and operating a foreign investment, the resolution of international business disputes and enforcement of dispute settlement awards.

International Commercial Arbitration (512K, 2 credits)
International commercial arbitration is the most popular alternative dispute settlement mechanism for resolving disputes between parties arising out of international commercial transactions. The basic goal of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of the international commercial arbitration process and the role of national courts in supporting that process. The rules of international commercial arbitration institutions, such as the International Chamber of Commerce, and international conventions on commercial arbitration will be studied, including the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration -- enacted by more than 60 countries -- will also be examined.

International Food Laws and Regulations (810D, 3 credits)
The objective of this online course is to provide the student with an overview of the systems of food regulation practiced in different regions of the world including some of the cultural and social-economic factors which influence the regulation of food products in the specific regions. Issues discussed include genetic modification, importation, exportation, food additives, and regulatory compliance. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Regulation of Agricultural Production & Marketing (810M, 3 credits)
This course highlights laws and regulations relevant to agricultural production and distribution of food. Focus is on understanding how laws and regulation influence what farmers raise, how they raise it and market it, and how that affects food quality and value. Topics include current and past methods of supporting production and profitability, agricultural production standards relevant to food products, including organics, and regulation of relationships between producers and buyers. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

Regulatory Leadership in Food Law (810U, 3 credits)
In the modern regulatory state, the attorney or regulatory affairs manager is looked to for counsel on more than just the meaning of black letter law, but also for guidance and leadership in dealing with agencies, particularly in adverse or high-stakes situations. This course will provide students with an introduction to regulatory affairs through the regulation of food. Among other concepts, this course will cover: the nature of the regulatory process; the role of regulatory affairs; the practical application of regulatory affairs; tools and strategies concerning regulatory affairs; the nature of assessing and communicating risk; quality controls and management; compliance; and judicial review of agency decisions.

Survey of Intellectual Property in Agriculture (810N, 3 credits)
This course is a survey of the intellectual property concepts that are important in the Agriculture Industry. Beginning with an introduction to intellectual property generally, the class will focus on utility patents, plant patents, and Plant Variety Act certificates, including international perspectives. Trade secrets and trademarks will also be discussed. Once students are grounded in the applicable intellectual property law, the class will turn its focus to the impact that intellectual property rights have on access to food products and food safety. No scientific or other class pre-requisites are required. This course is restricted to students in the Global Food Law Program.

The Relationship of Law, Policy, and the FDA Foreign Supplier Verification Program (810V, 2 credits)
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.

Understanding the Law of the FDA Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule (810W, 2 credits)
This course provides students with the legal perspective of FDA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act. This course has an administrative overtone, providing an understanding of the legislative and regulatory processes through an in-depth look at the relationship between the Food and Drug Administration, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities.