Photo of Denis Stearns

Denis Stearns, is of-counsel at Marler Clark, earned a BA in philosophy from Seattle University, and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He graduated from both schools with high honors, and won numerous awards for service and academic excellence. Prior to being a partner at Marler Clark, Denis worked as one of the lead attorneys on the defense team that represented Jack in the Box against the hundreds of claims and lawsuits arising from the historic 1993 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In this role, he obtained extensive knowledge of the meat and foodservice industry, health and safety regulations, HACCP and other food safety systems, epidemiology, and foodborne illness. He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to food safety law, administrative regulation, and public health policy.

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

— from Robert Browning’s “Andrea del Sarto”

Part 2: Does case law support FDA’s expansive position on jurisdiction? According to published policy, the Food and Drug Administration claims to have “jurisdiction over all products made from interstate components regardless of…

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

— from Robert Browning’s “Andrea del Sarto”     

  Part 1: FDA’s position on its jurisdiction over in-state food producers When the news broke on Jan. 6 that Chipotle Mexican Grill had been served with a federal grand jury subpoena as part…

Last fall, I started teaching at Seattle University School School of Law, doing so in part to give myself more time to do scholarship (research and writing) about food, in all of its fascinating aspects and implications. I knew that I would miss many things about the full-time practice of law. But I also knew …

Of Recycled Buns, Food Safety in China, and the Jabberwocky of Political Debate

       “I am no longer eating steamed buns, a 65-year-old Shanghai man who gave his last name as Chen, declared in front of a supermarket window emblazoned with the motto “No fake goods in Hualian.”

“None of them

        “Oh, Jake,” Brett said, “we could have had such a … damned good time together.”

Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.

“Yes,” I said. “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

–last lines of “The Sun Also Rises,” …

What a surprise this morning to power up my laptop, click on my shortcut-link to the MSNBC website, and there on the front page find a photograph of my butcher, Russell Flint, of Rain Shadow Meats.   As soon as I saw the photograph, I exclaimed to myself: “Hey, that’s my butcher!” And that got…

Our one year anniversary is quickly approaching here at Food Safety News, and despite the fact that we’ve only met in person twice during the last year we’ve held 2 successful virtual picnics–one on Memorial Day and one on the 4th of July.  As summer comes to a close, we’re hosting another virtual picnic. 

In coming up with topics for my opinion-pieces here at Food Safety News, I have been trying not to be so critical–which is to say, trying not to build a topic around me criticizing someone for their opinions or proposals.  For as I observed in my last piece, The Perils of Punditry, there is…

It’s Independence Day, and since the Food Safety News team is spread out across the country, we’re having another “virtual potluck” for our first 4th of July celebration.  

Our first virtual potluck was held on Memorial day this year and was a huge success so we’re hoping for a nice follow-up today.

Michelle is …

Back in the day, when I was studying for my degree in philosophy, during my senior year I was required to take a 400-level seminar on Plato and Aristotle, which, in large part, consisted of reading large amounts of both philosophers’ work, and then discussing the work in class.  We also had to author a …