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Resilience in the US red meat industry: the roles of food safety policy


  • Michelle Worosz


  • Andrew Knight
  • Craig Harris


We use the case of red meat food safety to illustrate the need to problematize policy. Overtime, there have been numerous red meat scandals and scares. We show that the statutes and regulations that arose out of these events provided the industry with a means of demonstrating safety, facilitating large-scale trade, legitimizing conventional production, and limiting interference into its practices. They also created systemic fragility, as evidenced by many recent events, and hindered the development of an alternative, small-scale sector. Thus, the accumulated rules help to structure the sector, create superficial resilience, and are used in place of an actual policy governing safety. We call for rigorous attention to not only food safety, but also the role and effect of agrifood statutes and regulations in general, and engagement in policy more broadly. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle Worosz & Andrew Knight & Craig Harris, 2008. "Resilience in the US red meat industry: the roles of food safety policy," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(2), pages 187-191, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:25:y:2008:i:2:p:187-191
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-008-9127-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Annette Steinacker, 2006. "Externalities, Prospect Theory, and Social Construction: When Will Government Act, What Will Government Do?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(3), pages 459-476.
    2. Libecap, Gary D, 1992. "The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 242-262, April.
    3. Garcia Martinez, Marian & Fearne, Andrew & Caswell, Julie A. & Henson, Spencer, 2007. "Co-regulation as a possible model for food safety governance: Opportunities for public-private partnerships," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 299-314, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Kevin Edson & Davidson, Debra J., 2014. "Adapting to food safety crises: Interpreting success and failure in the Canadian response to BSE," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 250-258.


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