Risk under construction: The German discourse on the ban of MON810

  • Carolin Ifländer
  • Felix Kartte
  • Sonja Koehler
  • Juliane Reschke


Food crises ranging from BSE to EHEC have time and again demonstrated that uncertainrisks in the area of food safety constitute one of the main societal challenges we arecurrently facing. Their nature as “possible, new, imaginable hazards, with which societyhas no or limited experience” (van Asselt and Vos, 2008) leads to situations in whichtraditional means of science prove to be inadequate for drawing suitable conclusionsinforming how the uncertain risk is to be handled. This challenge is particularly visible inthe regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs): they have been characterizedas an uncertain risk and pose questions related to socio- political, economic and culturalconsiderations (Ansell and Vogel, 2006; van Asselt and Vos, 2008).