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Food, Risk and PoliticsScare, Scandal and Crisis – Insights Into the RiskPolitics of Food Safety$
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Ed Randall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072307

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072307.001.0001

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BSE and vCJD – still crazy after all these years

BSE and vCJD – still crazy after all these years

(p.70) 4 BSE and vCJD – still crazy after all these years
Food, Risk and Politics

Ed Randall

Manchester University Press

This chapter concerns a food scandal which has been described as the food scandal to end all food scandals. It was a political scandal par excellence. The discussion examines the extraordinarily corrosive impact on public opinion and trust in government that allegations about secrecy in the management of safety in general and food safety in particular can have. The charge made against public authorities in Britain and abroad, as more and more information came into the public domain, was that they had put the interests of a minority of the population, its food producers and exporters, before the interests of the population as a whole. The chapter considers the extent to which the traumatic public announcement, made in 1996, that BSE was almost certainly the cause of vCJD, conditioned changes in the behaviour of government risk managers and communicators and the experts from whom they are expected to take advice.

Keywords:   food scandal, public opinion, food safety, risk management, BSE, vCJD, food producers, political scandal

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