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Type: Journal article
Title: Who regulates food? Australians' perceptions of responsibility for food safety
Author: Henderson, Julie
Coveney, John
Ward, Paul
Citation: Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2010; 16(4):344-351
Publisher: Australian Journal Primary Health, Australian Institute Primary Care & School Public Health
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1448-7527
School/Discipline: School of Population Health and Clinical Practice : Public Health
Statement of
Julie Henderson, John Coveney and Paul Ward
Abstract: Food scares have diminished trust in public institutions to guarantee food safety. Food governance after the food scare era is concerned with institutional independence and transparency leading to a hybrid of public and private sector management and to mechanisms for consumer involvement in food governance. This paper explores Australian consumers’ perceptions of who is, and should be responsible for food safety. Forty-seven participants were interviewed as part of a larger study on trust in the food system. Participants associate food governance with government, industry, and the individual. While few participants can name the national food regulator, there is a strong belief that the government is responsible for regulating the quality and safety of food. Participants are wary of the role of the food industry in food safety, believing that profit motives will undermine effective food regulation. Personal responsibility for food safety practices was also identified. While there are fewer mechanisms for consumer involvement and transparency built into the food governance system, Australian consumers display considerable trust in government to protect food safety. There is little evidence of the politicisation of food, reflecting a level of trust in the Australian food governance system that may arise from a lack of exposure to major food scares.
Rights: Copyright La Trobe University 2010
DOI: 10.1071/PY10011
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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