Food Risks and Consumer Trust: European Governance of Avian Influenza

Michiel P.M.M. de Krom

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    Following different European food crises in the 1990s, European food policy was substantially renewed to restore public trust. According to this new framework, consumers should be actively involved. This PhD-study investigated whether and how consumer involvement in European food governance re-establishes trust in food, by focussing on the recent case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. The study shows that scientists have become more transparent about their internal disagreements than in the past, including in pubic media. Resultantly, consumers have to make their own assessment of conflicting risk characterisations, implying their own values and concerns. Such assessments occur primarily when consumers encounter the food supply system: at the shopping floor. Here, significant groups of consumers consider themselves co-governors of food safety and quality through their acts of buying food and relating to relevant other actors. Hence, food risk governance shifts for an important part to contexts outside of the conventional policy institutions: to the mass-media and shopping floors.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Plaats van publicatieWageningen
    EditieDissertation Wageningen University
    ISBN’s in drukversie978-90-8585-698-6
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2010

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