This book explores the new applications of established theories or adapts theoretical approaches in order to illuminate behaviour in the field of food. It focuses on social processes at the downstream end of the food chain, processes of distribution and consumption. The book reviews the existing disciplinary approaches to understanding judgements about food taste. It suggests that the quality 'halal' is the result of a social and economic consensus between the different generations and cultures of migrant Muslims as distinct from the non-Muslim majority. Food quality is to be viewed in terms of emergent cognitive paradigms sustained within food product networks that encompass a wide range of social actors with a wide variety of intermediaries, professional and governmental. The creation of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) occurred at a juncture when perceptions of policy failure were acknowledged at United Kingdom and European Union governmental levels. The book presents a case study of retailer-led food governance in the UK to examine how different 'quality logics' actually collide in the competitive world of food consumption and production. It argues that concerns around food safety were provoked by the emergence of a new food aesthetic based on 'relationalism' and 'embeddedness'. The book also argues that the study of the arguments and discourses deployed to criticise or otherwise qualify consumption is important to the political morality of consumption.
regard to food safety and standards with an emphasis on the safety and health
of the consumer. The EC rearranged its food safety responsibilities, putting
them under the newly constituted Directorate General for Health and
Consumer Protection, and began a process of revising and rationalising EU
food laws and regulation. An independent European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) was also created. The UK introduced its own independent FoodStandardsAgency (FSA) in 1999, hiving off responsibilities from the Ministry
of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). The
Competing imaginaries of science and social order in responsible (research and) innovation
Stevienna de Saille and Paul Martin
even successfully6) for contamination of dozens of sites
in the USA alone. Therefore, beyond the ethical questions which have
often surrounded Monsanto’s particular model of generating profit
5 The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
has issued a report reclassifying glyphosate as ‘probably’ carcinogenic (IARC, 2016),
causing some member states to refuse to renew its licence for sale in the European
Union. The European FoodStandardsAgency (EFSA) subsequently issued its own
report finding it not carcinogenic if used as
., Nuti, M., Sweet, J.
B., et al. (2012). Response to ‘the anglerfish deception’. EMBO Reports, 13,
Renn, O., and Schweizer, P.-J. (2009). Inclusive risk governance: Concepts
and application to environmental policy making. Environmental Policy
and Governance, 19(3), 174–185.
Rothstein, H. (2013). Domesticating participation: Participation and the
institutional rationalities of science-based policy-making in the UK FoodStandardsAgency. Journal of Risk Research, 16(6), 771–790.
Science and the politics of openness
Shepherd, R. (2008). Involving the
the face of a perceived loss of trust in food.
Barling’s institutional approach stresses the path dependent features of
development, which complements and provides a backcloth to his analysis of
representation of interests and the distribution of power. The British experience is presented through his story of the constitution of the FoodStandardsAgency, a body whose priorities are seen as protecting public health and reassuring the consumer.
In an evaluation of the success of recent policy, he highlights the problems
associated with the distribution of the
, the FoodStandardsAgency estimates that 88 per cent of animals in the UK
killed by halal methods are stunned beforehand. See www.theguardian.com/lifeand
5 For a discussion of the reasons for this see http://guide.muslimsinbritain.org/guide9.
html. Accessed: 5.05.2014.
6 Photographs and video footage of events can be found at www.birminghammail.co.uk/
news/local-news/edl-protest-in-walsall-video-more-4925. Accessed: 0.05.2014.
7 ‘Violent disorder’ is point 2 of the Public