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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)923-936
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • attitudes on genetics, bioethics, GM food, governance of science and technology

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