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Is it just about trust ? The partial reform of French food safety regulation

Abstract : Food safety has been a state prerogative in France in the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet it became a major political issue only recently, gaining top priority on the political agenda in the wake of the BSE crisis of 1996. Two reasons account for this. First, the BSE crisis revealed important dysfuntions in both beef industry practices and their supervision by the state, echoing similar dysfuntions in the UK and later Germany, and undermining public trust toward food products. Second, the blood transfusion scandal of the mid- 1980s, with its political and administrative repercussions, promoted health safety as a priority on the political agenda along with issues of political accountability. To most observers, BSE seemed to reproduce the same mecanisms as the blood transfusion scandal, albeit in a different sector, but typical of a snow-balling of crises (see chapter 1, this volume). Food safety became a sub-category of the more general theme of health safety. [first paragraph]
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Christophe Clergeau, Julien Besançon, Olivier Borraz. Is it just about trust ? The partial reform of French food safety regulation. Christopher Ansell; David Vogel. What’s the Beef? The Contested Governance of European Food Safety, MIT Press, pp.125 - 152, 2006, 9780262511926. ⟨hal-02413172⟩

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