Pear in mind: A blog in the public interest

 At the start of my undergraduate career, my goal was to become a pediatrician. However, after learning about health inequities and the many factors that can exacerbate them, I was inspired to pursue a legal education and learn to use policy to shape the way health is experienced.

As I learn about the external and environmental forces that impact the health decisions we make daily, I know there is much work to be done outside of doctors' offices and hospitals. I am interested in all of the ways the law, the healthcare system, and our built environments interact to affect the way health is achieved. My plan is to work to make health and wellness more accessible and attainable in any capacity available to me.

By the time some people see a doctor, the delay has usually set off a cascade of potentially lasting health consequences. When it comes to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, the products and environments that make Americans increasingly susceptible are the easiest to access--and this is by design. The advertising schemes that promote fast and processed foods, combined with an abundance of misinformation, make staying healthy an uphill battle.

I became interested in CSPI because of its focus on empowering the public to make informed decisions about their nutrition and ultimately their health. I believe that at the intersection of law and public health, there is an effective avenue for change, and CSPI has offered me many opportunities to dive into this intersection.

CSPI has taken many important strides toward making food and nutrition more accessible, and as a Legal Policy Intern, I have had plenty of opportunities to contribute to such impactful work. This summer, I contributed to CSPI’s efforts to improve health and safety protections for meat and poultry plant workers, helped draft an abstract for a potential publication on Nutrition Labeling and Health Equity, and got involved in countless other initiatives taking place at CSPI.

This fall, I am continuing to pursue my JD in preparation for a career in health policy and advocacy. I want my studies to lead me to a better understanding of how laws affect our everyday lives and how laws are created or changed to improve our daily contexts. My summer at CSPI has moved me closer to my goals, improved my understanding of how our food is regulated, and connected me with a wonderful group of people working to make our food systems safer and more equitable.

Aiseosa Osaghae is a rising 3L at Georgetown University Law Center. She spent the summer of 2021 as a Legal Policy Intern at CSPI.