A-3/99 Food trust, ethics and safety in risk society

We are living in the age of mad cow disease. Through large scale bulletins in the media, we have learned about food scandals that threaten both our health and our environment. The precautionary principle, "better safe than sorry", implies that all nations take part in a debate regarding our values concerning food, health and environment. A new food scandal has recently rolled across Europe: feed concentrate poisoned with dioxins has been used in the production of eggs, chicken, pork, beef and dairy products. The ministers who tried to keep this secret were forced to resign. With today's media, the era of bureaucratic secrecy has passed. But this has raised new problems: Who can we trust? And what type of food production can be regarded as ethically defensible in our day and age? And finally, how does the precautionary principle apply to the way we evaluate food, ethics and risk (Almås 1997)? Sociological Research Online. Vol.4, issue 3,1999

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