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Truth in Food Labeling: It’s Anyone’s Guess

March 14, 2024

Food is essential for living. What and how much food is consumed impacts both quality and longevity of life. For some people, knowing where and how the source of their food was raised and harvested impacts that person’s ethical and moral beliefs. On the other hand, food manufacturers are economically motivated to entice consumers to select their product over that of a competitor. How one food manufacturer labels their product becomes a primary deciding factor, often more so than cost, of what gets purchased and consumed.

Regulations and policies associated with the labeling of food are complex and heavily litigated. Generally, consumers are unaware of the the subtleties associated with the numerous required features on a product’s label. Food labeling is neither part of most school’s curriculum nor taught in adult education classes. This course will address the genesis of the statutory and regulatory oversight of food labeling, along with some of the present day challenges associated with consumer expectations (e.g., fanciful product names, gluten-free,” and “non-GMO“). Actual product labels will be reviewed and discussed. Participants will gain an understanding of labeling terms (e.g., misbranding and economic adulteration) and be able to identify labeling features that push the boundaries of what is truthful and not misleading.

Watch the Course Promo Video and Read the Syllabus Here

Meet Your Professor
DANIEL ENGELJOHN retired from 40 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC as the senior official responsible for regulatory and policy development for meat, poultry, and processed egg products. While at USDA, he traveled the world, meeting with foreign government officials to ensure that foreign foods exported to the US met the USDA requirements for food labeling and food safety. After retirement from USDA, he taught food safety, food law, and animal production courses for three years at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UArizona.

FREE for Current AZ Educators (Normal Course Fee: $195)

Learn More and Claim Your Scholarship at 

Scholarship funds are limited. Scholarships awarded on a first come, first served basis.


  • All classes will be delivered on-campus, online via live video streaming, and asynchronously via video recording. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • On-Campus classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All students enrolled to attend in person also have complete online access and may choose to attend one or all class sessions remotely if desired.
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. A high-speed internet connection and a device capable of running Zoom are required to connect. Online access will be password-protected and only available to enrolled students.
  • Class Recordings – All HSP classes are recorded and available for every enrolled student to watch for the duration of the course and one month after the last class session. This option is offered to aid students who cannot attend the live class times but desire to enroll and participate asynchronously. We hope this option also aids students who are traveling or have a necessary appointment that conflicts with a class session to stay connected and engaged with the course material.
  • For questions regarding this resource, please contact Humanities Seminars Program.
  • Contact Name: Micah Lunsford
  • Phone No: 520-621-2492
  • Email Address: