GM Food on Trial: Testing European Democracy

Les Levidow, Susan Carr 
Routledge  November 2009  

Hardback  324 pp  ISBN 9780415955416      £80.00
Europe was told that it had no choice but to accept agbiotech, yet this imperative was turned into a test of democratic accountability for societal choices. Since the late 1990s , European public controversy has kept the agri-biotech industry and its promoters on the defensive. As some opponents and regulators alike have declared, €GM food/crops are on trial€. Suspicion of their guilt has been evoked by moral symbols, as disputes over whether genetically-modified products are modest benign improvements on traditional plant breeding, or dangerous Frankenfoods; and in disputes over whether they are global saviours, or control agents of multinational companies.

This book examines European institutions being €put on trial€ for how their regulatory procedures evaluate and regulate GM products, in ways which opened up alternative futures. Levidow and Carr highlight how public controversy created a legitimacy crisis, leading to national policy changes and demands, in turn stimulating changes in EU agbiotech regulations as a strategy to regain legitimacy.


  • Introduction
  • Analytical Perspectives
  • Making Europe Safe for Agbiotech, Generating Dissent
  • Opening up Risks, Disputing Un/Sustainable Agriculture
  • Channelling Participation, Testing Public Representations
  • Regulating Risk, Testing EU Reforms
  • Scaling Up GM Crops, Testing Commercial Operators
  • Labelling GM Products, Testing Free Choice
  • Segregating GM Crops, Contesting Future Agricultures
  • Conclusion: Testing European Democracy
To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
European Union : Routledge : food crops : food science : genetically modified organisms : policy

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