Center for Integrative Leadership
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Thursday, June 6, 2013
8:00am - 5:00pm
Registration: click here for U of M
Registration: click here for non-U of M

About the forum

The Finding Common Ground forum provides an opportunity to explore contentious issues from multiple perspectives in a respectful environment. Contentious issues often are complex with no single, simple resolution. The overall objective of the Finding Common Ground forum is to explore the source of the complexity and then find shared interests that offer opportunities for progress.

Food labeling is a complex and controversial issue… a Google Search on “food labeling” gets 23,900,000 hits. While there are a variety of legal requirements for food labels, the question of what else the label should and shouldn’t include is argued from a number of perspectives. Should the label include information about the country‐of‐origin or production practices used? Should labeling apply to fresh foods as well as processed foods? What about prepared, unpackaged foods in restaurants or salad bars? When should label information be mandatory as opposed to voluntary? Is labeling necessary or sufficient for informing the  consumer?

Issues like is food labeling nice to know or need to know require a broad perspective, an inquisitive mind, and a commitment to collaboration. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership, Global Initiative for Food Systems Leadership, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Health invite you to participate in the fifth “Finding Common Ground” forum designed to foster conversation among participants with diverse perspectives to discover and advance a common good. Participants from academia, the private sector, intergovernmental, nongovernmental and governmental organizations will examine this issue in a neutral forum that considers multiple

As a forum participant you will:

Arrow Explore the controversies underlying food labels
Arrow Identify shared interests in what labels are attempting to achieve
Arrow Strengthen your appreciation for different perspectives on food labeling
Arrow Contribute to new strategies for addressing labeling issues in the future



Jennifer KuzmaJennifer Kuzma

Associate Professor, Resident Fellow
Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

Professor Kuzma is Associate Professor in the Science, Technology, and EnvironmentalPolicy program at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches courses in risk analysis and public policy, nanotechnology and societal implications, and science and technology policy. Prior this position, she served as study director for several U.S. National Academy of Sciences reports related to biotechnology and bioterrorism/ /and as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Risk Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she worked on risk analysis for foodborne hazards such as E. coli 0157:H7 and BSE. Her current research focuses on risk and oversight policy for bioand nanotechnology, and she is the recipient of four U.S. National Science Foundation-funded grants in this area. She was recently appointed as a Resident Fellow of the Institute on the Environment and under this fellowship, she is beginning to explore the use of system dynamics for risk policy associated with emerging technological products in the environment.

Other speakers to be posted soon

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


Jennifer KuzmaWendy Rahn

College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Wendy Rahn is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.  Before joining the Minnesota faculty, she held faculty positions at The Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin, and Duke University.  She served on the Board of Overseers for the National Election Studies and as co-editor of Political Psychology, the official journal for the International Society of Political Psychology from 1996 to 2004.  The Society also named her as the 1999 recipient of the Erik Erikson Award for Distinguished Early Career Contribution to Political Psychology.  Also in 1999, she received the Emerging Scholar Award from the Organized Section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior from the American Political Science Association. Her research interests include the role of emotions in political thinking and behavior, citizen participation in politics, the origins and consequences of political and social trust, and new forms of inequality in American society.  Her articles have appeared in such places as the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political SciencePublic Opinion Quarterly, and Political Communication. At the U of MN, Prof. Rahn teaches courses in American government and politics, elections and voting behavior, public opinion, political psychology, political polarization, etc.

Sarah L. BrewSarah L. Brew

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Sarah Brew leads the firm's food litigation and regulatory practice, which is nationally ranked by Chambers USA, and is a leader of the firm's food and agriculture industry group. Sarah represents food processors, distributors and retailers in foodborne illness and contamination cases, defending them against labeling and class action consumer fraud claims, and representing them in complex commercial litigation and supply chain disputes. She has served as national counsel in cases arising from many major outbreaks, involving products such as eggs, spinach, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cantaloupe, peanut butter, beef products, poultry products and pet food. Sarah also counsels and provides risk management advice to food, feed and dietary supplement clients on labeling and regulatory compliance matters, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, product recalls and reportable food registry events, FDA and USDA inspections and enforcement actions, and supply chain management and related contracts. Sarah writes and lectures nationally on a variety of food law and litigation issues, and is a member of the International Association for Food Protection, the Food and Drug Law Institute, the American Bar Association's Food & Dietary Supplements Subcommittee and other professional and trade associations relating to the food industry.

Sarah L. BrewSteven B. Toeniskoetter

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Steve Toeniskoetter is a food industry lawyer and a member of the firm's food litigation and regulatory practice, as well as the national food and agriculture industry team. The food litigation and regulatory practice is nationally ranked by Chambers USA along with only seven other national firms. He represents clients in the food and agricultural industries in litigation involving foodborne illness and recall matters including personal injury, commercial supply litigation and regulatory interactions, food labeling, general products liability defense, indemnity, breach of contract, consumer fraud and class actions. Steve counsels and provides risk management advice to food, feed and dietary supplement industry clients on food labeling and safety matters, including product recalls, regulatory compliance and regulatory interactions. He is also a frequent writer and speaker on food and agriculture industry issues. Steve provides practical, day-to-day advice to numerous market-leading companies on food law regulatory issues, helping clients evaluate risks and put in place practical solutions to mitigate risk, consistent with the client's business goals. Steve is a member of the Food and Drug Law Institute, International Association for Food Protection, MN Grocers Association, MN State Bar Association and American Agricultural Law Association.



For questions, please contact Violeta Bonneville at or 612-625-8709.