- The Oxford Handbook of Food, Politics, and Society
- List of Contributors
- How is Food Political? Market, State, and Knowledge
- Science, Politics, and the Framing of Modern Agricultural Technologies
- Genetically Improved Crops
- Agroecological Intensification of Smallholder Farming
- The Hardest Case: What Blocks Improvements in Agriculture in Africa?
- The Poor, Malnutrition, Biofortification, and Biotechnology
- Biofuels: Competition for Cropland, Water, and Energy Resources
- Alternative Paths to Food Security
- Ethics of Food Production and Consumption
- Food, Justice, and Land
- Food Security, Productivity, and Gender Inequality
- Delivering Food Subsidy: The State and the Market
- Diets, Nutrition, and Poverty: Lessons from India
- Food Price and Trade Policy Biases: Inefficient, Inequitable, Yet not Inevitable
- Intellectual Property Rights and the Politics of Food
- Is Food the Answer to Malnutrition?
- Fighting Mother Nature with Biotechnology
- Climate Change and Agriculture: Countering Doomsday Scenarios
- Wild Foods
- Livestock in the Food Debate
- The Social Vision of the Alternative Food Movement
- Food Values Beyond Nutrition
- Cultural Politics of Food Safety: Genetically Modified Food in France, Japan, and the United States
- Food Safety
- The Politics of Food Labeling and Certification
- The Politics of Grocery Shopping: Eating, Voting, and (Possibly) Transforming the Food System
- The Political Economy of Regulation of Biotechnology in Agriculture
- Co-Existence in the Fields? GM, Organic, and Conventional Food Crops
- Global Movements for Food Justice
- The Rise of the Organic Foods Movement as a Transnational Phenomenon
- The Dialectic of Pro-Poor Papaya
- Thinking the African Food Crisis: The Sahel Forty Years On
- Transformation of the Agrifood Industry in Developing Countries
- The Twenty-First Century Agricultural Land Rush
- Agricultural Futures: The Politics of Knowledge
Abstract and Keywords
Regulatory approaches and public responses to food made with recombinant DNA technology—genetically modified (GM) food—exhibit striking national differences. The safety concerns regarding GM food have been cautiously addressed and alarmed and repelled many consumers in France and Japan, but they have not garnered the same kind of policy response or public attention in the United States, where GM food has been widely produced and consumed. This chapter examines how such differences developed since the late 1990s, particularly by situating the politicization and institutionalization of food safety in the development of “GM food” as a cultural category in each country. We highlight three important dynamics. First, how food safety became politicized (e.g., the sequences, timing, actors who mobilized the issue) differed widely across cases. Second, other aspects of GM food became intertwined with the politics of food safety. We cannot really understand the latter in isolation from the politicization of such aspects as environmental risks. Third, the meaning of GM food itself in policy and public discourse—its salience and definition—mattered to divergence of national approaches to food safety. A comparison of three cases illustrates how divergent patterns of food safety regulation cannot be reduced to political conflicts, cultural norms, scientific debates, or historical events only. Different configurations of these factors shaped shared understandings of GM food as a category, which, in turn, affected the politics of food safety.
Kyoko Sato is Associate Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Stanford University.
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