Students may take one course, or as many as they wish. Click below to read individual course descriptions or view our table of sample course outlines

Not every course is offered every semester. Please see our table of course offerings by semester.

Students who successfully complete 12 credits from applicable IFLR courses may earn a Certificate in International  or United States Food Law.

IFLR Course Descriptions

International Food Laws and Regulations (FSC 810, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course surveys the food laws and regulations as well as the socio-economic dynamic which shapes the food laws of specific regions of the world including the US, EU, Latin America, Japan, Switzerland, India and Australia/New Zealand. It also surveys the role of international agencies in the application of food laws (WHO, FAO, Codex, WTO).  Modules on Critical Analysis and Comparative Food Law and a Food Safety Governance Comparative Study are also included. The Lead Instructor is Neal D. Fortin, Director and Professor of the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations at Michigan State University, along with an international network of guest lecturers of attorneys, academics and former government officials who practice in that specific region and who understand the legal complexities of the flow of food and agricultural products across national boundaries.

Food Laws and Regulations in the United States (FSC 811, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course is taught by Lead Instructor Neal D. Fortin, Director and Professor of the Institute for Food Laws and Regulations at Michigan State University, and surveys the laws and regulations governing the manufacture, distribution and sale of food products in the United States. This course will cover the history of U.S. food regulation, the regulation of foods and food additives, dietary supplements, genetic modification regulation, HACCP, civil and criminal liability for defective products, inspections, labeling, importation and exportation, novel processing technologies regulation, and many other issues of current concern in U.S. food regulation. The course has been updated to include the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Food Laws and Regulations in the European Union (FSC 812, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course is designed to provide practical knowledge for those who must understand the legal and regulatory complexities of the flow of food and agricultural products in the European Union. The course provides an overview of the EU, the procedures, EU food law history, current status of EU food law, the official control and import controls, national food control systems, food labeling, controlling additives and contaminants, HACCP, and food hygiene in the EU.

Food Regulation in Latin America (FSC 813, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course surveys the political, social, economic and historical events that have shaped the development of food laws and regulations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean including an overview comparison of the basic food laws, and agency responsibility in each country, food safety in the region, basic standards, labeling and additives, international trade issues and dispute resolution. It examines international trade organizations, food-related issues and events on a regional basis including Mercosur as well as the specific countries of Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

Food Laws and Regulations in Canada (FSC 814, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course contains a comprehensive examination of the regulation of food product in Canada. The Regulatory Framework; Labeling and Advertising Rules under the Canadian FDA and other Canadian Statutes including the Safe Food For Canadians Act; Food Additives, Food Supplements and Food Fortification; The Regulation of Novel Foods and Genetically Modified Foods, Organic Foods and Food Irradiation; Inspection and  other Related Food Safety Programs; Food Recalls; and Compliance and Enforcement.

Food Laws and Regulations in China (FSC 815, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of various aspects of food law in China. The new syllabus reflects the latest laws and regulations, and touches on emerging issues. Topics include: cultural, socio-economic differences compared to other countries/regions; organization of China's food laws, delegation of risk assessment and risk management roles and responsibilities in the Government of China; cross border and e-commerce issues; food labeling and claims permitted; novel food approval; genetic modification and; food additives and contaminants. Hot topics such as food safety, food fraud, and import-export issues such as tariffs and liabilities toward consumers will also be addressed.

Codex Alimentarius - The Food Code (FSC 816, Section 730, 3 credits)

Students gain a thorough understanding of the organization of Codex Alimentarius, why Codex matters, the key documents, the nature and operation of the various committees, the standards, the interaction WHO, WTO, and the importance of Codex in world trade and global food law. Codex Alimentarius is a global reference point for food producers, food processors, consumers, national food control agencies, and for international trade. Codex formulates and harmonizes food standards and ensures their global implementation. Codex has food standards for commodities (237), codes for hygiene or technological practice (41); guidelines for contaminants (25); and has evaluations on pesticides (185), food additives (1,005), veterinary drugs (54); and limits for pesticide residues (3,274).

Animal Health, World Trade, and Food Safety - OIE (FSC 817, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course is taught by Dr. Scott Haskell DVM, MPVM, PhD. This course will provide students with an overview of rapidly changing global animal health patterns, food safety and subsequent modifications in world trade. The interrelationship of animal agriculture with food industries, national infrastructure, disease diagnostics, animal and human pandemics, political systems, and global trade will be investigated during the semester. 

Regulatory Leadership in Food Law (FSC 820, Section 730, 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 as these issues apply to 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; the nature of assessing and communicating risk; quality controls and management; compliance; and judicial review of agency decisions.

Wine, Beer, and Spirits Laws & Regulations (FSC 821, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course examines the laws, regulations, and policies that govern alcoholic beverages in the United States. The emphasis is on federal laws, specifically regulation by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Among other concepts, this course will cover: industry's main regulators, the classification of beverages, the regulation of labeling and advertising, three-tier distribution system, excise taxes, and liability.

The Law of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program Rule (FSC 851, Section 730, 3 credits)

This Relationship of Law, Policy, and the FDA Foreign Verification Supplier Program Rule course provides students a legal perspective on the Foreign Verification Supplier Program Rule. Topics to be covered include the history, law, policy, and legal application of the FDA Preventive Controls Rule. For example, students will assess whether the definition of foreign supplier should include an exception for activities conducted on raw agricultural commodities, or whether dietary supplements should be exempted from the Foreign Supplier Verification Program.

The Law of the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule (FSC 852, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course focuses on understanding the human and animal food rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The course offers an in-depth look at the relationship between the FDA, industry, consumer interest groups, and science communities. Students will learn the major provisions of the Rule, evaluate FDA’s limitations, explore animal feed changes, examine current issues in food law pertaining to FSMA, and investigate the intersection between science and law.

The Law of the Produce Safety Rule (FSC 853, Section 730, 3 credits)

This course covers both regulatory and practical aspects of produce safety. Topic areas include worker health and hygiene, soil amendments, water quality in pre-harvest and post-harvest environments, crop inputs, wildlife and domesticated animals, land use, and FSMA issues related to produce. 

Global Regulation of Food Contact Substances/Packaging (FSC 890, Section 736, 3 credits)

Food control officials worldwide continue to face great challenges as a result of globalization and free trade agreements. One of these challenges is to monitor large volumes of imported and exported foods. Lack of a unified food classification system has always been a heavy burden on the food control authorities around the world. As such, regulation of food contact materials has become increasingly important in a global food supply. Emerging markets should have an FCM regulatory system that meets international standards. This course covers: Codex Alimentarius, US, Canada, European Union, People’s Republic of China, Australia/New Zealand, India, Japan, Korea, developing countries.