Center for Integrative Leadership
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About the forum

Recent problems with foodborne illnesses like those associated with sprouts in Germany or raw milk in Minnesota raise important questions. When it comes to food safety, where does the responsibility of society (through government regulation) and of the food industry (through quality assurance/food safety interventions) end and the responsibility of the consumer begin? We all know that no food is 100% safe and that preventing foodborne disease is a shared responsibility of everyone along the supply chain, but what does this really mean on a day‐to‐day basis? Current science tells us, for example, that biosecurity and sanitation alone cannot guarantee safe milk and that we have no current methods to fully ensure the safety of sprout seeds (or shellfish). How, then, should these challenges be handled in the marketplace?

Our panel of invited speakers, including representatives from the consumer, producer, government, and food processor sectors, facilitated by Professor Will Hueston, will discuss tough issues like balancing the roles of individuals and society/government when it comes to ensuring that the food we eat is safe and free of contaminants requires a broad perspective, an inquisitive mind, and a commitment to collaboration. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership and Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership invite you to participate in the third of a series of “Finding Common Ground” forums designed to foster conversation among participants with diverse perspectives to discover and advance a common good. Participants from academia, media, industry, intergovernmental, nongovernmental and governmental organizations will examine this issue in a neutral forum that considers multiple perspectives.

Speakers (speakers added as they are confirmed):

Dana Allen, Gar-Lin Dairy, Eyota MN
Craig Hedberg, Professor, Environment Health Sciences, University of Minnesota
Jeff Varcoe - VP Food Safety and Quality, The Schwan Food Company
Will Hueston, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVPM, Professor, GIFSL Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota

As a forum participant you will:

Arrow Increase your awareness and understanding of the challenges related to ensuring food safety
Arrow Strengthen appreciation and respect for different perspectives about responsibility for ensuring food safety (Individual? Society? Both? Neither?)
Arrow Improve our collective ability to address the complexities of ensuring food safety from farm to fork
Arrow Develop an active network to continue dialogue and encourage progress toward balancing risk and ensuring food safety


Will Hueston, Executive Director, Global Initiative for Food System Leadership
Laura Bloomberg, Executive Director, Center for Integrative Leadership


For questions, please contact Angie Stehr at 612-625-5209.