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Agri-Food Governance and Expertise: The Production of International Food Standards

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard Lee



This article examines a particular mode of agri-food governance: international food standard setting. Sociological accounts of technical regulatory processes such as standard setting can help to illuminate the role of expertise in the governance of the agri-food system. Firstly, the potential contribution of the concept of epistemic communities to the analysis of international food standard setting is discussed. Secondly, the article details the architecture of international trade regulation and the operational procedures of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (the Codex), the intergovernmental organisation in which international food standards are set. Thirdly, the role of scientific expertise to the standard setting process in the Codex is explored through a case-study of the attempt to establish an international definition for dietary fibre. The article concludes by reflecting upon the importance of contestation over knowledge claims to the conduct of agri-food governance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lee RP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociologia Ruralis

Year: 2009

Volume: 49

Issue: 4

Pages: 415-431

Date deposited: 21/02/2012

ISSN (print): 0038-0199

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2009.00493.x


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