Executive Director of the UCLA Law Resnick Center for Food Law & Policy and Professor from Practice
Professor Michael T. Roberts is a thought leader in a broad range of legal and policy issues from farm to fork in local, national, and global food supply systems. He taught the first food law and policy course in the United States in 2004 and served as the leading force in the development in 2005 of the first scholarly journal – Journal of Food Law and Policy – devoted exclusively to the field. Since his arrival to UCLA in 2013, Roberts has authored and edited major foundational publications on food law. He authored the first major treatise on food law, titled, Food Law in the United States (Cambridge University Press 2016), which was translated into Chinese in 2018. He is also co-editor of a case book, Food Law: Cases and Materials (Wolters Kluwer 2019). He is currently editing Research Handbook on International Food Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming).
Roberts is also actively involved in the global development of food law and policy. He has lectured on food-law subjects at law schools, workshops, and conferences in a number of countries, with a concentrated focus on China. He is a Research Fellow for Renmin University School of Law's Center for Coordination and Innovation for Food Safety. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law for East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai), where he lectures annually on food law topics. Roberts recently led the Resnick Center into a partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on a series of research and advisory initiatives to confront global food security, nutrition, safety, and quality.
Roberts is focusing much of his current research and work on the development of international food law and public-private regulatory approaches in the world food supply chain, with a particular emphasis on the regulation of food innovation and future technologies. He is also very interested in the history of food law and is currently studying part-time for a DPhil in modern history at Oxford University where he is focused on the emerging role of international law and institutions in the governance and regulation of food starting in the 1930s.
Roberts teaches two courses at UCLA Law: Introduction to Food Law and Policy and Emerging Scholarship in International Food Law. He has also been instrumental in the organization of a food studies certificate graduate program at UCLA.