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Alternative Proteins and Politics: On Labels, Threats, and Misconceptions

Register here to join us: http://bit.ly/altproteins

The plant-based milk sector is booming, threatening the conventional dairy milk business. Beyond and Impossible burgers have gained immense popularity, as more fast food restaurants and grocery stores make them available to consumers. Cultured meat is expected to conquer the meat market in the near future. These developments have spurred the animal agriculture industries to issue complaints and call on policymakers to review the labeling and regulation of plant-based products. The backlash from the animal agriculture industry has resulted in wins and losses on both sides, and different rulings in various jurisdictions.

How will these labeling policies change consumer behavior? What are the threats or opportunities of new regulations for the plant-based food movement? How will the cultured meat industry be regulated and what does that mean for the businesses and the consumers?

Join us for the second webinar in our series of events exploring the plant-based and cellular agriculture product industries. Our panel of advocates on the front-lines of just food labeling and regulations will discuss the legal and cultural perspectives of recent rulings, lawsuits, federal guidelines, and their implications for the future of food.

Meet our panelists

Emily Hennessee - Policy Coordinator at GFI

Emily Hennessee works on legislative and regulatory efforts to level the playing field for alternative proteins in the United States. Prior to joining GFI, she worked on statewide sustainable food efforts at Georgia Organics as the Farm to School Director and Director of Programs. Previously, Emily was the Sustainability Programs Coordinator at Emory University’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives. She holds a bachelors in cultural anthropology from Emory University and an M.P.H. with a concentration in Food Systems from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Emily is currently a Farm Foundation's Young Agri-Food Leaders and serves on the American Public Health Association's Center for Climate, Health, and Equity Steering Committee.
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Jaime Athos, CEO of The Tofurky Company

Jaime Athos is a visionary and passionate leader in the plant-based foods industry. With more than 14 years of experience building and supporting its growth, Athos is energized by the ever-increasing opportunity and adoption of plant-based foods worldwide. Prior to his current role as President and CEO at The Tofurky Company, Athos held a variety of other positions within the brand that is also his family’s business, from a college summer job making tempeh to roles in quality assurance, research and development, and operations.

As a category leader Tofurky serves a purpose beyond the plate, acting as an engine for global change. Athos exemplifies and manifests this change by way of plant-based political activism, eco-friendly manufacturing, and pursuit of food innovation that helps people to make better choices for farm animals, the environment and health. Athos holds a Doctoral degree in neurobiology and behavior from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree in fish biology from the same. He is a founding member of the Plant Based Foods Association, where he currently serves as president of the Board. The association aims to ensure a fair and competitive market place for all businesses selling plant-based foods, promoting policies and practices that improve opportunities for the industry, and educating consumers.
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Vince Sewalt, Head of Regulatory Science & Advocacy, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

Vince has 18 years of experience in Industrial Biotechnology and FoodTech regulatory approval around the globe, including external engagement to facilitate societal understanding and regulatory acceptance of new food technologies. Vince is passionate about building regulatory capabilities in support of existing technologies in emerging markets and about continuous knowledge building and sharing between industry and regulators such that perceived risks associated with today’s novel technologies will become routine in the eyes of the regulators sooner rather than later, allowing for knowledge-based streamlining of the regulatory requirements and processes over time.

Before entering into the field of Regulatory, Vince was a Fulbright Scholar and John Lee Pratt Nutrition Fellow during his PhD studies, a National Science & Engineering Research Fellow and Noble Foundation Post-Doc Excellence Award recipient during 2 biotechnology post-docs, and he managed teams in Agricultural Biotechnology and Food Ingredient R&D in 3 companies before joining DuPont in a full-time regulatory role.
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Moderated by Gabriel Wildgen

Gabriel holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. Prior to law school, Gabriel was a campaign manager with Humane Society International/Canada, where he managed the organization’s Canadian wildlife protection and meat reduction campaigns for over six years.

Born and raised in Canada, he now resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His biggest passions include strategizing ways to transition our food system into one that protects animals, our planet, and human health, and expanding the movements that are making this transition possible. Gabriel continues to help launch and grow non-profits that are working towards these goals. In his spare time, he enjoys meditation, vegan cooking, and taking long walks in wilderness and in cities.

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