Feednavigator.com Writes about FLPC Report, Leftovers for Livestock

An August 26, 2016 article by Aerin Einstein-Curtis for Feed Navigator looks at the newest report released by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Food Recovery Project at University of Arkansas  School of Law. The article on the report includes quotes from the report's co-author Nicole Civita from the University of Arkansas.

Read Leftovers for Livestock’: Guide to US waste feed usage laws on offer' in full.

Smarter Strategies To Reduce School Food Waste

Written by Juliana Cohen, Assistant Professor, Merrimack College; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Emily Broad Leib, Director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. Originally published by The Huffington Post on August 15, 2016.

HuffPo School

 

The start of the school year is around the corner, and over 30 million children will be eating school meals every day.  With this comes substantial quantities of food waste. This is nothing new- food waste has been an issue in schools for decades, and mirrors the staggering amount of food waste nationally.  But it does not have to be this way.  In fact, some simple but smart strategies to Reduce, Recover, and Recycle foods can make a big difference to address waste in schools. Changing practices in schools has the double benefit of reducing the amount of wasted food while also educating students about the need to reduce food waste and the ways this can be done. Catching students while they are young can help lead to the type of societal change needed to cut back on food waste.

Schools might decide on their own to implement food waste reduction plans, or they may be encouraged or forced to do so by state or local policies. However, parents (and students!) also have the power to get involved to make big changes when it comes to reducing the amount of food that lands in school trash cans.

Reducing Food Waste

First, we can focus on making changes in schools to encourage students to eat more of their healthy meals. An easy, cost-free solution is to have recess before lunch. This can significantly reduce food waste by increasing children’s appetites and removing the incentive to rush through a meal to go play outside. Many schools are receptive to this change since it is often a simple switch that can lead to students making healthier choices.

Second, giving students enough time to eat seems like an obvious way to ensure they will eat their meals, but this does not always occur in schools.  In fact, there are no national standards regarding the length of school lunch periods. Research suggests that providing students with at least a 30 minute lunch period (which translates to roughly 25 minutes of seated time) leads to significant decreases in food waste.  Parents can work with their school’s wellness committee to recommend an increase to the lunch period length or prevent policy changes that might make lunch periods shorter. Cities or states can even enact policies to ensure adequate student consumption time for meals.

Lastly, focusing on the palatability of the foods makes a big difference.  It won’t come as a surprise to most that kids eat more when they like the taste of a food.  When schools collaborate with professional chefs, students eat significantly more of their meals.  Parents can work with food service directors and their school wellness committees to create a policy that encourages schools to hire a professional chef when an existing cafeteria staff member retires, or to encourage the school district to work with local chefs to help create new menus items.

Food Recovery

It’s almost inevitable that students will occasionally have foods on their trays that go uneaten.  “Share tables” can help to solve this: students can swap unwanted school meal items like milk cartons, whole fruits, or bags of baby carrots.  Share tables are not only safe and legal, they are also strongly encouraged by the USDA.

What about the perfectly good foods left behind on share tables, or other leftovers from the cafeteria that have not been served to children?  This excess food can be donated to charitable organizations such as food banks, pantries, or other food recovery organizations.  Donating this food is safe and legal, and is also supported by the USDA. Such donations are also protected from liability under federal law. Schools can work with their local food recovery organization to set up a schedule to pick up leftover food, or can work with a non-profit organization like Food Bus, which has stepped up efforts to address this missed opportunity for food recovery from schools. In order to make it even easier on schools, several states, like California and Indiana, have created documents offering best practices to help schools ensure their share tables and food donations meet the required food safety standards.

Parents can connect with food service directors and wellness committees to set up share tables in the cafeteria or help start a donation program.  Resolutions can be passed at school district, city, or state level to help create awareness and encourage food donations, and cities and states can put out guidance that helps schools to comply with state food safety rules when donating their excess food.

Recycling Food

What should schools do with the half-eaten foods that can’t be donated? Many of these foods can be easily composted and used in school gardens (edible and decorative) or donated to local farms. Connecticut has created a great resource, which includes the steps and tools needed, as well as creative ideas like incorporating food recycling into the science curriculum and other teaching materials. And in the City of San Francisco, where composting of food waste is required, the city runs a citywide composting program in schools that makes composting a fun challenge for the students.

In conclusion, there are a variety of options to reduce the amount of food from schools that winds up in the landfill. Parents can work with schools to determine what they can do to support these efforts.  Just remember, school employees have a lot on their plates already!  Simple steps like volunteering to help establish new food policies and practices to reduce, recover or recycle food will make a big difference in ensuring a successful school year with less food waste.

CHLPI and FLPC Welcome New Team Members, Caitlin McCormick-Brault and Lee Miller

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) are happy to welcome new team members. Cailtin McCormick-Brault joins CHLPI as Associate Director and Clinical Instructor, and Lee Miller joins FLPC as a Clinic Fellow. Read more about the new staff below.

 

CMBCaitlin McCormick-Brault is an Associate Director and Clinical Instructor in the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI). Prior to joining CHLPI, Caitlin was in private practice for nine years in Washington D.C. with the nation’s top public policy practices at the law firms of Patton Boggs and subsequently Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld. While in private practice, Caitlin advised clients on legislative and regulatory matters pertaining to health care. She has extensive experience navigating the legislative and regulatory process, drafting legislative language, preparing regulatory comment letters, and developing and implementing strategies for individual clients and coalitions. She has worked directly on matters related to all the major health care legislation in recent years, including the Affordable Care Act, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act, and many others.

Caitlin is a 2007 cum laude graduate of Boston University, where she completed a health law concentration with honors. She received her B.A. in international affairs magna cum laude from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs in 2004, concentrating in global public health and conflict and security.

 

Lee Miller joined the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation in August 2016 as a Clinical Fellow in the Food Law and Policy Clinic. Lee comes to FLPC as the inaugural Jane Matilda Bolin fellow and a recipient of the Yale Law Journal Public Interest Fellowship. At FLPC he coordinates a farm bill research consortium comprising six leading law schools with food and agricultural law and policy expertise.

Lee received his JD from Yale Law School, where he co-founded the Yale Food Law Society. During law school Lee pursued experiential opportunities in the field of food and agriculture law across all scales of government. He led an extended project to improve national regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations, helped launch a legal services hub for farmers in Connecticut, and pushed forward pro-agriculture zoning reforms in New Haven.

Prior to law school, Lee earned his Master of Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School, where he helped build and launch the Duke Campus Farm. He graduated from Duke University with a BS in Economics.

A cure at what cost? More states easing restrictions on Hepatitis C treatments

Originally published by NewsWorks, the online home of WHYY on August 11, 2016. Written by Elana Gordon.

Screenshot 2016-08-12 12.11.07

For years, Valerie Green just wasn't feeling right. She was in a constant state of fatigue but couldn't figure out what was going on. Neither could doctors. That was until a specialist ran a series of blood tests last year, and one came back positive for Hepatitis C.

"I was fairly shocked because I wasn't that knowledgeable about the disease. Everyone knows it's not a good thing, it effects your liver," Green recalled. "It was pretty scary."

What happened next put Green in the middle of a controversial, and now shifting, landscape when it comes to coverage of Hepatitis C treatment. In Delaware, that's meant experiencing some of the most restrictive rules in the country to, as of this summer, some of the most lenient.

New treatments offer new hope

Green, who's 56 and lives in Millville Del., isn't exactly sure how she contracted the virus. Hepatitis C (HCV) is mainly spread through blood to blood contact. These days, the most common mode of transmission is through sharing needles or other equipment used for injecting drugs. For baby boomers, especially, many may have also been exposed before the virus was screened out of the blood supply, beginning in 1992. Green thinks she got infected from a blood transfusion 30 years ago, when she gave birth to her son.

But the idea that someone like Green could have lived with the virus for decades and not know it isn't all that surprising. Hepatitis C is often referred to as a "silent" disease because most people who are chronically infected don't actually show symptoms (about a quarter of those infected naturally clear the virus). Over time, HCV can damage the liver and result in serious long-term health problems.

It's the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants in the United States. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 20,000 people died from HCV complications, surpassing the number of deaths from 60 other infectious diseases, including HIV, combined.

After getting over that initial shock of the diagnosis and the stigma often associated with the disease, Green was relieved to finally pin down the actual problem.

"I was like, 'Wow, I really am sick, I knew it. I knew something was wrong.' It was validation," she remembered thinking. "Now the next step was, let's get it fixed."

Green had good reason to be optimistic.

Two and a half years ago, new drugs entered the market that completely transformed the treatment landscape for Hepatitis C. These direct-acting antivirals boast greater than 90 percent cure rates and minimal side effects for the most common types of HCV. And because earlier treatments were less effective and came with serious side effects, many providers and patients had held off on treatment, period, until these new drugs became available.

Green has Medicaid in Delaware. After receiving her Hepatitis C diagnosis, her doctor submitted the paperwork required to get these new medications. But Green's excitement only lasted two weeks.

"That's when my first denial came back," she recalled. "That was based on, I don't meet their recommendations of not being sick enough."

A cure with a catch

The new Hepatitis C drugs have come with a big catch: the price tag. It's difficult to know the exact cost — public and private payers negotiate private agreements with drug companies — but one of the main drugs, Sofosbuvir (the brand name is Sovaldi), has been listed at $1,000 a pill before discounts. It's taken once a day for up to three months, often in combination with other drugs, making the cost of a cure upwards of $100,000.

"It would not be feasible, financially, for us to treat everybody in our membership who has the diagnosis," said Stephen Groff, Medicaid director for the state of Delaware. "It would have broken the budget quite frankly. This is a situation where we had high cost, high volume — it's just not a good combination."

Medicaid officials elsewhere have echoed that sentiment.

While other cancer drugs might be even more expensive, the scope and scale of Hepatitis C has put state Medicaid programs, in particular, in an ethical and fiscal bind. More than 100 million people worldwide are chronically infected with Hepatitis C, including an estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million people in the United States. Studies have found the prevalence is higher among Medicaid populations.

Delaware is a small state, but Groff estimates that upwards of 2,000 residents with Medicaid coverage have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Last year, the state spent more than $13.5 million to treat 141 people who were chronically infected, representing six percent of the state's total drug spend for the year.

In nearby Pennsylvania, 1,889 people with Medicaid received treatment in 2015, costing about $145 million, or about seven percent of the state's total annual drug spend, according to the Medicaid office.

To determine who qualifies for the treatment, Pennsylvania, Delaware and other states require prior authorization. They base this on a Metavir system, or fibrosis scale, to prioritize treating patients with the most severe liver damage. A score of zero to one indicates minimal fibrosis, while four signals cirrhosis, or severe scarring and decline in liver function.

States limiting treatment amid budget concerns

Delaware limited eligibility to those with a score of four on that scale.

"We felt like we needed to get this drug out to individuals who we knew had an immediate need for a drug," said Groff.

That response didn't sit well with patients like Green, who applied again for the drugs and was again denied. While she experienced other symptoms that she attributed to her disease, like fatigue and nausea, her liver was healthy. She applied for several grants from outside organizations, but one that she really needed required a big co-pay from her primary insurer, Medicaid, which wasn't going to happen.

"Why make me wait? It's rationing, pure and simple in my mind," she said, referring to the Medicaid denial. "You know day in and day out that your liver is progressively getting worse and worse and worse and worse, and it's not going to get better until you have this drug to eradicate this virus. And you have an official saying, you're not sick enough, you can't have the medication. So it's extremely frustrating."

An analysis of pharmacy prescription data in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland through April of 2015 found that people with medicaid were much more likely turned down for coverage of these new Hepatitis C drugs compared to Medicare or other private insurers. Medicaid rejections neared 50 percent.

Hepatitis C typically progresses slowly, but critics of such policies contend that making someone with Medicaid wait until they get sicker to qualify for a cure spells discrimination.

"Instead of state Medicaid programs embracing the idea that now we have a cure for the number one communicable disease killer in the U.S., we saw many programs implement unprecedented restrictions on access to treatment," said Robert Greenwald, director of the Center for Health Policy & Innovation at Harvard Law School.

Greenwald argues Medicaid covers a poorer, more vulnerable population that's being unduly denied treatment. He's been tracking Medicaid policies, and last year, he found that three quarters of states limited one of the main drugs, Sovaldi, to people with advanced liver disease.

"If we had a cure for Alzheimer's or cancer or M.S. at $30,000, we would not be in the same situation we're currently in," he said. "People would be storming the White House and legislators, demanding access to a cure. We as a nation should try to figure out how to meet those costs. It's myopic to think about pharmacy line items."

He draws a comparison to HIV.

"We consider it a tremendous victory that we have transformed HIV and we pay about $15,000 a year for the rest of a person's life," he said. "For HCV, the treatment is about $30,000 - that's proprietary info, it's hard to know the exact price that public and private insurers pay - but at $30,000, we can now cure a person."

If someone's cured, they can't transmit the virus, either.

Drug companies, which set the price, have long argued that it's worth the value: these drugs represent a one-time treatment that cures someone of a disease, and with that, curbs the need for costly liver transplants down the road. Plus, it costs a lot of money to develop the drugs.

Another study out last year also makes the case for the cost effectiveness of the new drugs, but concludes that more resources would be needed to treat patients.

Beyond Hepatitis C, mounting prescription drug costs have prompted national and international debates over drug costs. In general, it's on the rise. Both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have addressed this in their platforms.

Changing Landscape

Since the initial wave of these new drugs entered the market in late 2013, the scientific, political and economic environment has been shifting. That, and several lawsuits, has spurred some states and private insurers to rethink their policies.

A year ago, Pennsylvania Medicaid's fee-for-service program eased its restrictions on Hepatitis C treatment, making those with "less severe" liver disease eligible. The state also removed a rule that a patient has to be drug or alcohol free for six months before qualifying for treatment. Patients coinfected with HIV are automatically eligible.

In recent months, Florida and New York expanded access to the drugs through their medicaid programs. Massachusetts lifted its restrictions this month.

Last March, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would treat all veterans with Hepatitis C, regardless of their liver disease status. It's been reported that several private insurers, including UnitedHealthcare and some Blue Shield plans, have started covering treatment for people who fall into any stage of the liver disease.

So why the changes?

For one, new medical guidelines have affirmed the new drugs' effectiveness and recommend early treatment.

In response, Medicare has eased its restrictions.

Last November, the federal government reminded states of their obligation to provide treatment that meets certain medical standards.

More drugs have entered the market, adding more competition. Health officials have also been pushing drug manufacturers to lower their rates and offer more rebates.

Several lawsuits have challenged state policies and the drug manufacturers' prices.

A class action lawsuit (one that Greenwald's center has been involved in) in Washington state resulted in a federal district judge ordering Medicaid to drop its restrictions on HCV treatments, ruling that the previous policy was not consistent with Medicaid requirements that treatments be covered based on medical needs.

The state attorney general in Massachusetts had also threatened to sue one of the manufacturers, Gilead Sciences, over drug prices and has since secured more rebates.

In Pennsylvania, a Medicaid spokesperson attributed the changes in its policy last year to updates in national and international treatment guidelines, evaluation of more clinical trials, and infectious disease specialist recommendations.

In May, the state's pharmacy committee also backed removing all liver disease restrictions for treatment. The state is currently reviewing what additional funds would be available if such a policy is implemented and how the additional costs would be absorbed in the budget.

"We have not made any final decisions yet," said Ted Dallas, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Human Services.

All in all, about a dozen states have either eliminated or reduced their restrictions in the last year, according to Greenwald, who's continuing to research state Medicaid policies.

"There's a movement. It's happening. It's slowly happening," he said. "It should be happening faster, given changes in drug pricing."

The pendulum swings in Delaware

Back in Delaware, the state lowered its eligibility to a fibrosis scale level of three in April. It also loosened some of its other qualifying criteria.

Then last month, the state set in motion a policy that would phase out any liver damage criteria. By January of 2017, eligibility will drop to a fibrosis score of two, and then to zero by January of 2018. In the meantime, those who demonstrate treatment is "medically necessary," regardless of a fibrosis score, will qualify for treatment.

"I would say this is always where we wanted to go and where we knew we were going and we're just happy we're getting there a little faster," said Groff, adding that he's hoping that people don't file in at once to get treated.

Groff estimates they'll treat between 600 and 700 people in the coming year, with the state spending as much as $40 million. He thinks drug rebates from manufacturers and federal Medicaid matching funds will offset a lot of the added cost.

"The landscape has changed significantly over the last three years," he said, adding that initially, the state faced too many unknowns. Now more evidence for the drugs have come out, along with more drug options. "The cost of the drugs themselves has come down considerably now that we have competition in the marketplace. The manufacturers are also willing to negotiate supplemental rebates with states. So that substantial reduction in costs is making it more feasible for us to have open access."

Doctors like Bill Mazur welcome the updates. He's an infectious disease doctor with the state prison system and with Christiana Health Care system. Since the new drugs came out, Hepatitis C has turned into his primary focus.

"The conversations with patients sometimes were a little uncomfortable because I couldn't inform them how long their wait would be," said Dr. Mazur.

Now he has an answer for patients with Medicaid.

Looking ahead, Mazur does worry about whether the health system has the capacity, whether there are enough of him to treat everyone who's infected.

Kelly McNelis, a clinical pharmacy specialist at Christiana Care Health System's community program and colleague of Mazur's, estimates that since the policy change, they've started three newly eligible people a week on the treatment.

"It's been lovely," said McNelis, "It was so disappointing to have to tell someone you know you're healthy now, we'd like to treat you now, but we have to wait until you get a little sicker before we can treat you."

As for Valerie Green, who was diagnosed with Hepatitis C last year and denied treatment, she's optimistic she'll be approved for treatment this time around. She had been preparing a lawsuit with Greenwald's group, but they've tabled it. She recently re-applied for treatment.

"I was very excited," she said. "Hopefully, I'll feel great, and I won't have these symptoms any longer and I can get back to leading a normal life."

For her, that includes working again, raising awareness about the disease and the resources that are available to get tested and treated, and taking part in one of her favorite pastimes...walking on the beach.

FLPC Director Quoted in Nova Article on Food Date Labels

An August 10, 2016 article from PBS' Nova Next examines commonly misunderstood food date labels. "Why Food Date Labels Don't Mean What You Think," by Kelsey Houston-Edwards, looks at common misconceptions held by consumers about labels such as "best by" and "expires on" and proposed legislation to standardize labels. 

 Excerpt from article:

"But there’s rarely reason to fret if your food is past date, says Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. 'There are a small handful of foods that shouldn’t be sitting in your refrigerator for such a long time—there is a safety risk. Whereas for all other foods it’s just about quality.'

Congress is currently considering a bill that would standardize food date labels and clearly distinguish manufacturer’s quality suggestions from scientifically based safety dates. It’s a simple fix that could save billions of dollars worth of food every year, and it would require almost no action on the part of consumers. Clarifying food date labels is the most cost effective way to combat food waste in the United States."

Read "Why Food Date Labels Don't Mean What You Think," in full.

 

 

 

CHLPI Faculty Director Quoted in Oregon Bulletin on HCV Article

An August 8, 2016 article titled "A cure for hepatitis C, if not for the cost" provides an in-depth look into the lives of various individuals living with Hepatitis C (HCV), as well as some who have been able to access the HCV cure. The article, published by The Bulletin in Oregon, features interviews with a variety of doctors, nurses, and advocates, including CHLPI's Faculty Director Robert Greenwald.

Excerpt from article:

"Greenwald, the Harvard Law School professor, said treatment in many states, after rebates from drug manufacturers, costs Medicaid programs in the $30,000 range. For comparison, programs pay between $12,000 and $15,000 annually to keep HIV patients healthy, he said.

'It’s fantastic that for that $15,000 a year, we can keep people healthy and live the rest of their life,' he said. 'In this case, we’re talking about a cure. One time, 12 weeks, one pill a day, for $30,000. That’s it.'”

Read "A cure for Hepatitis C, if not for the cost" in full.

FLPC Director Quoted in Article in ArkansasOnline on Food Date Labeling

On August 7, 2016, ArkansasOnline published a story on Wal-Mart's new efforts to reduce food waste, entitled "Wal-Mart updates 'best by' labeling."

The article, written by Robbie Neiswanger, lauds the corporation's decision to simplify food date labels down from the 47 variations seen on their shelves to just "Best if used by." The article also includes thoughts on Wal-Mart's change from JoAnne Berkenkamp at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Jordan Figueiredo of the "Ugly Fruit and Veg" campaign, in addition to Emily Broad Leib, Director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic.

 

Excerpt from article:

"Wal-Mart has been working on ways to tackle both issues, announcing campaigns to sell imperfect apples in some Florida stores and ugly potatoes in stores in southwest Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. The retailer also has standardized the language on date labels, which is now a requirement for its Great Value items...

So will Wal-Mart's continued work to help lead the discussion in advocating industry-wide standards, according to Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic.

'Before Wal-Mart moved on this, it was really easy for companies to say, 'It's too hard to standardize labels,' Broad Leib said.

'I think they have so much power to make change. More so than any other company,' Broad Leib added."

 

Read "Wal-Mart updates 'best by' labeling" in full. 

FLPC, in partnership with the Food Recovery Project, Launches “Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed”

Leftovers for Livestock_coverIn the United States, approximately 63 million tons of food is wasted every year. The natural resources used to produce that food, including water, fertilizer, and land, are also lost as a consequence of this alarming amount of waste. Furthermore, this wasted food typically ends up in landfills where, as it breaks down, it leads to significant emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 56 times the atmospheric warming power of carbon dioxide. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its Food Recovery Hierarchy, prioritizes recovery opportunities for reducing food waste. According to the hierarchy, wholesome, edible food should be kept in the human food supply if possible. When that is not possible, it should be used as feed for animals. Given the significant environmental impact of food in landfills, many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and policymakers have seen a renewed interest in the use of food scraps as animal feed.

In Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Food Recovery Project at the University of Arkansas provide the first-ever catalogue of the different state regulations and requirements for feeding food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock serves as an important resource for businesses with food scraps that could go to animals, livestock farmers, and other interested stakeholders.

Leftovers for Livestock also describes the federal and state laws and regulations regarding the practice of feeding food scraps to animals, and offers useful suggestions for both generators of food scraps and animal feeding operations. The federal government creates a floor, or base level of regulations for the feeding of food scraps to animals; however, states can apply stricter regulations than the federal baseline. Indeed, forty-eight states plus Puerto Rico more tightly regulate the feeding of food scraps to animals; some even have outright bans on the use of certain types of food scraps as animal feed. For example, under federal law food scraps can generally be fed to swine, so long as any food scraps containing meat or animal products are heat-treated (heated at a boiling temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit/100 degrees Celsius). However, fifteen states ban the feeding of swine with food scraps that contain any animal parts or material, and nine of these states even ban the feeding of any vegetable waste to swine. States also have different license and heat-treatment requirements, with twelve states going above the federal rules and requiring heat-treating of vegetable-based food scraps before they are fed to swine.

The patchwork of state and federal law can appear daunting to those hoping to feed food scraps to animals. Leftovers for Livestock will help both businesses with food scraps to donate or sell, and livestock farms hoping to feed their animals more sustainably, to navigate this complex framework by providing a guide to both federal laws and the detailed regulations in every state.

Using food scraps for animal feed can help reduce the amount of food scraps being sent to landfills while also helping businesses save money on garbage disposal costs, helping farmers save money on feed costs, and decreasing the amount of land and natural resources used to grow the grains, soy and corn currently used for animal feed. This is a win for humans, animals, and the planet.

Read Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed

FLPC Director Quoted in Huffington Post on Food Waste Solutions in Europe

The August 4, 2016 article "Europe Does Something Amazing With Food That Has Nothing To Do With Eating," written by Casey Williams, urged the United States to follow Italy's example and pass legislation to reduce food waste. The Italian government recently passed legislation to reduce the country's food waste. The new laws make it easier for farms and supermarkets to donate unsold food and reward businesses that cut waste. The measures also encourage Italians to take restaurant leftovers home.

Excerpt from article:

“'The wave of new laws in Europe will definitely put pressure to do something here,' Broad Leib told The Huffington Post. 'There is also interest in reducing food waste here, but we have yet to see it really translated into action.'...

While it may be difficult for the U.S. to pass laws exactly like the ones in Italy and France, European governments’ efforts to cut waste show that there’s more the U.S. can do, according to Broad Leib.

'There are steps we could take at the national level to incentivize or encourage more states to pass landfill bans or diversion requirements,' she said.

Broad Leib is optimistic that the U.S. will eventually pass such measures. The new legislation in Italy 'shows that we are really seeing a moment of food waste reduction,” she added.'"

 

 

Read "Europe Does Something Amazing With Food That Has Nothing To Do With Eating"in full.

Striving For Equity In Access To And Use Of Specialty Care

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation's Specialty Care initiative was included in an August 1, 2016 blog post on healthaffairsblog.com. The piece looks at grantees selected by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to address inequities in access to, and utilization of, specialty care services in the United States.

The blog post defines the goal of the initiative to "catalyze sustainable improvement and expansion of specialty care service delivery by safety-net providers, so as to achieve optimal and more equitable outcomes for the people they serve who are living with complex diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and HIV/AIDS...Poor access to timely, high-quality specialty care causes thousands of preventable deaths each year, particularly among low-income, minority, and rural populations who are fighting serious diseases. Studies suggest that eliminating racial disparities in cancer care alone would result in 250,000 fewer cancer deaths annually."

About CHLPI's work on specialty care:

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, a law clinic at Harvard Law School that advocates for legal, regulatory, and policy reforms, is creating for the grantees tailored policy and advocacy road maps that use strategies ranging from pursuing state Medicaid amendments for new patient care and nonmedical social support models, to advocating for broader CMS reimbursement of telemedicine services in rural areas, to policy maker education about migrant health care services.

Read "Striving For Equity In Access To And Use Of Specialty Care" in full.

Learn more about CHLPI's Specialty Care initiative.