Arguments Surrounding Organic and Genetically Modified Food Labelling: A Few Comparisons

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Abstract

This paper compares reasoning surrounding organic food labelling with arguments concerning mandatory GM labelling. Focus is placed on argumentative cross-overs, defined as cases where actors or organizations use a certain type of argumentation for one issue (for example, modes of food production), and shift into using their opponent's type of argumentation for a closely related issue (for example, food labelling). The paper is a textual analysis of the arguments across non-governmental organizations, scientists, policy-makers and corporations. Argumentative cross-overs are not only of theoretical interest. They run the risk of, for instance, making consumers assume that all struggles for 'stricter food labelling' will lead to more reliable labelling information and to a higher level of consumer empowerment. It is important to call for more nuanced descripticns of food labelling, and to make the public aware of the cross-overs, which often involve vast exaggerations of what food labelling can, or cannat, tell us.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • cross-over, critical realism, epistemic relativism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-259
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Volume4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes