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Listened to, but not heard! The failure to represent the public in genetically modified food policies

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Lassen, Jesper (main author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
SAGE Journals
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
ethical issues, food policy, government policies, information needs, politics, public attitudes, outreach, genetic modification, Denmark (Europe), food issues
14 pages., via online journal., ‘In the mid-1990s, a mismatch was addressed between European genetically modified food policy, which focused primarily on risks and economic prospects, and public anxieties, which also included other concerns, and there was a development in European food policy toward the inclusion of what were referred to as “ethical aspects.” Using parliamentary debates in Denmark in 2002 and 2015 as a case, this article examines how three storylines of concern that were visible in public discourse at the time were represented by the decision makers in parliament. It shows that core public concerns raising fundamental questions about genetically modified foods, and in particular their perceived unnaturalness, were not considered in the parliamentary debates. It is suggested that the failure of the parliament to represent the public may undermine the legitimacy of politicians and lead to disillusionment with parliamentary government.