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The Politics of PrecautionRegulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States$
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David Vogel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691124162

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691124162.001.0001

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Food Safety and Agriculture

Food Safety and Agriculture

(p.43) Chapter Three Food Safety and Agriculture
The Politics of Precaution

David Vogel

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on European and American policies toward the risks of food safety and agricultural production methods. A number of food safety regulations were affected by a divergence in transatlantic public risk perceptions. During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, public concerns about the risks of carcinogens in the food supply were greater in the United States than in Europe, while during the 1980s, the safety risks of beef hormones became highly salient in Europe, but not in the United States. In addition, the criteria used by policy makers in both the United States and Europe to assess and manage risks shifted: American regulatory officials placed increased reliance on scientific risk assessments, while European policy makers began to employ a more precautionary approach to food safety risks.

Keywords:   European policies, American policies, food safety, agricultural production, public risk, policy makers, regulatory officials

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