Public health officials, attorneys, policy-makers and advocates have reached out to the Network with requests for legal assistance. Below are some of these requests and the responses given by Network attorneys. To protect privacy, names are not included in the examples. In addition, the Network will not share an example if a requestor asks for his or her request to be withheld.
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A requester recently contacted the Network to ask how states regulate the use of human waste as a fertilizer. Both federal and state law allow for the use of human waste as an agricultural fertilizer. The land application of biosolids, sewage sludge, and/or domestic septage provides considerable nutrient benefits for the soil, but also presents a range of health and environmental challenges.
The Network received an inquiry from a county local health department director about whether food handler training is an evidence-based public health intervention for food safety. Food handler trainings are educational programs designed to reduce the instances of food-borne illness and other food safety issues. Food training requirements differ widely by jurisdiction.
A health official investigating an outbreak of a bacterial infection in his region contacted the Network for help to determine the statutory authority of his local government to address the cause of the outbreak.
An official with a state department of health contacted the Network requesting information on whether existing federal law preempts a state legislature from adding labels warning about negative health consequences of alcohol products for human consumption.
An official from a county public health department recently asked the Network for information on how to properly distribute the results of epidemiological investigations on food borne illness outbreaks to local restaurants and patrons.