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Food and Brexit; implications for public health and environmental policy

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 15:30 to 16:30
Room LMR, LIDC, 36 Gordon Sq, London, WC1H 0PD
Professor Tim Lang from the Centre for Food Policy, City University London

Food, the UK and the EU: Brexit or Bremain?

This seminar, organised by LCIRAH, explores the food terrain exposed by the wider “Brexit versus Bremain” Referendum question to be decided by the voting UK public on June 23. Based on a briefing paper published by the Food Research Collaboration, it was written to raise issues; to invite academics and civil society working on food matters in order to consider how their work fits this momentous issue; and to aid informed decisions. The paper follows from debates and concerns expressed at the 6th City Food Symposium about UK food  and Brexit held on December 14, 2015.

The referendum on the UK’s European Union membership will have “momentous significance” for the country’s food system.

The report – called Food, the UK and the EU: Brexit or Bremain? – argues that the country must “wake up to the enormity of unravelling 43 years of co-negotiated food legislation”. Both consumers and food businesses will feel the effects.

Tim Lang

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City University London's Centre for Food Policy since 2002. After a PhD in social psychology at Leeds University, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s which shifted his attention to food policy, where it has been ever since. For over 35 years, he has engaged in academic and public research and debate about its direction, from local to global. His abiding interest is in how policy addresses the environment, health, social justice, and citizens.

He has been a consultant to the World Health Organisation, a special advisor to four House of Commons Select Committee inquiries, and a consultant on food security to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). He was a Commissioner on the UK Government's Sustainable Development Commission (2006-11), reviewing progress on food sustainability. He was on the Council of Food Policy Advisors to the Dept for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2008-10), and was appointed to the Mayor of London's Food Board in 2010.

The Centre for Food Policy works closely with civil society organisations, through Sustain the UK NGO alliance (which he chaired in the past). He has been a Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (since 1999) and President of the Garden Organic (since 2008).

He has written and co-written many articles, reports, chapters and books. His most recent books are Food Policy (with D Barling and M Caraher, Oxford University Press, 2009), Food Wars (with M Heasman, Earthscan 2004), Atlas of Food (with E Millstone, Earthscan 2003/2008), Unmanageable Consumer (with Y Gabriel, Sage 1996/2007). Ecological Public Health (with G Rayner, Earthscan/Routledge) published in May 2012. He writes frequently in the media as well and has written a monthly column in The Grocer since the year 2000.