Contemporary challenges like the labelling of CRISPR-modified foods or the categorization of lab-grown meat highlight a fundamental yet unacknowledged marketplace reality: legal definitions of foods are unstable over time. Prior historical debates – for instance, early 20th century regulations imposed on the sale of margarine or public demands to label and/or regulate GM foods – demonstrate that legal regulators and reformers are guided by complex socio-cultural and economic valuations of the marketplace when deciding how to identify, label, and define consumer goods. Further, different legal regimes will approach this question of definition quite differently. For instance, trademarks indicate the commercial source of goods, while much of consumer regulatory law instead establishes scientific metrics and standards with which to identify and categorize various products.

This workshop will focus on the modern product label and product packaging as a legal hybrid that navigates multiple legal definitions with the ultimate goal of fabricating consumers’ trust. Further, this workshop will focus on an inverse yet complementary process related to the manufacture of trust by asking: What makes a consumer good, untrustworthy or false? How do inconsistencies or breakdowns in the chain of commerce and communication occur such that a false, misleading, adulterated, or fabricated product is produced? Who is to say and what experiences are marshalled to confirm or dismiss the definitions of the products being consumed? In this inquiry, we ask a deeper question about the legal nature of truth and deception: How does the law legally determine falsehood in the consumer marketplace?

This workshop brings together a range of interdisciplinary scholars to generate new perspectives on the contemporary challenges facing trademark, labelling, and food regulatory laws.


  • Dr Jose Bellido, Kent Law School, University of Kent
  • Dr Susannah Chapman, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Hope Johnson, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology
  • Associate Professor Karinne Ludlow, Faculty of Law, Monash University
  • Professor Jay Sanderson, USC Law School, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Dr Andrew Ventimiglia, TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland



Forgan Smith Building,
TC Beirne School of Law
The University of Queensland
St Lucia
Sir Gerard Brennan Boardroom (W353)