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Capturing the sustainability agenda : organic foods and media discourses on food scares, environment, genetic engineering and health

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journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Stewart LockieStewart Lockie
This paper undertakes a content analysis of newspaper articles from Australia, the UK and the US concerned with a variety of issues relevant to sustainable food and agriculture during the period 1999 to 2002. It then goes on to identify the various ways in which sustainability, organic food and agriculture, genetic engineering, genetically modified foods and food safety are framed both in their own terms and in relation to each other. It finds that despite the many competing approaches to sustainability found in scientific and agricultural production discourses, media discourses tend to reduce this complexity to a straightforward conflict between organic and conventional foods. Despite regular reporting of viewpoints highly critical of organic food and agriculture, this binary opposition produces discourses in which organic foods are seen as more-or-less synonymous with safety, naturalness and nutrition, and their alternatives as artificial, threatening and untrustworthy. Particularly controversial food-related issues such as genetic engineering, food scares, chemical residues, regulatory failure and so on are thus treated as essentially part of the same problematic to which organic food offers a trustworthy and easily understood alternative.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

23

Start Page

313

End Page

323

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1572-8366

ISSN

0889-048X

Location

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Publisher

Springer

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Social Science Research;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Agriculture and Human Values.