Risk and Food Safety in China and Japan : Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Insights book cover
1st Edition

Risk and Food Safety in China and Japan
Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Insights

ISBN 9780367665494
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
222 Pages

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Book Description

Around the world, food has probably never been as safe as it is today. However, periodic crises have aroused consumer anxiety and contributed to a general lack of confidence in the agro-industrial system. The diverse nature of these crises increases governments’ and industry difficulties in predicting and tackling them. This book addresses the relations between risk and food theoretically and empirically through case studies from Japan and China.

Part I of the book examines the interaction between theoretical aspects and decision-making. The book theorizes the links between food and risk and analyses the decision-making process in light of risks and governance. The relationship between food risks, governance systems and economic decisions is assessed to explore ideas such as the "pact of nutrition" and the theory of weak signals. Part II examines case studies from China and Japan in the aftermaths of recent crises such as the milk powder scandal in China and food safety following the Fukushima nuclear accident and tsunami in Japan.

This book will be an important resource for scholars, academics and policy-makers in the fields of sociology, economics, food studies, Chinese studies and Japanese studies and theories of risks and safety.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations

Notes on Contributors


Part 1 Theoretical and Regulatory Framework

Chapter 1 Beyond Weak Signals Listening Theory: From Risk Analysis to the Management of Alimentary Concerns

Jean-Pierre Poulain

Chapter 2 Food Safety and Consumer Rationality: Is a "Food Pact" Possible?

Florent Champy

Chapter 3 Contemporary Food Crises: When Industrial Failure Meets State Impotence Vincent Simoulin

Part 2 Perspectives from Japan and China

Chapter 4 Revisiting Frank Knight: Risks and Uncertainties in the Context of Food Safety in Japan after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Louis Augustin-Jean

Chapter 5 Essential Elements for Interactive Risk Communication in the Food-Related Emergencies: A Model and Experiments on the Health Effects of Radioactive Substances

Yoko Niiyama

Chapter 6 The Private-Public Complementary Relationship for Managing Catastrophic Risk in Egg Production and Marketing in Japan

Michitoshi Yamaguchi

Chapter 7 The Rise of a Risk-Based Approach to Implementing Food Safety Law in China

Yongkang An

Chapter 8 A Study on Peasant Behaviour and Peasant Niche in Contemporary China’s Agri-food Supply System: Evidence from Henan Province

Jinghan Ke and Shuji Hisano

Chapter 9 Food Risks? What Food Risks? – Gaps between Perception and Practice in Chinese Food Consumption

David Kurt Herold



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Louis Augustin-Jean is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Research, the University of Paris-Nord (CEPN), France.

Jean-Pierre Poulain is a Professor at Toulouse University Jean Jaurès, France, and at Taylor's University, Malaysia.


"In this timely edited volume, Augustin-Jean and Poulain join theoretical work on food systems from diverse disciplines related to Beck’s 'risk society' to empirical studies of specific foods and food-related crises that emerged in China and Japan. The roles of government and governance systems as they intersect with food and food systems in these highly centralized countries serve as welcome unifying themes for the book." -- Gregory Veeck, Professor of Geography, Western Michigan University, USA

"This is an interesting approach to analysing food safety and its relationship with international trade from a socio-economic stance, which involves considerations of consumer safety, public health, industry and political interests. Understanding the macroscopic environment will provide a good opportunity for all stakeholders to re-evaluate their roles from a truly global perspective." -- Terence L.T. Lau, Director of Innovation and Technology Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

"Comparative studies of food safety are rare. So are books combining theoretical and empirical analysis. This stimulating collection breaks the mold. It is destined to provide food for thought, no pun intended, to all people concerned with food safety and food quality, regardless of discipline. It consists of a thorough introduction by the co-editors on the relations between food safety and risks, mainly from a sociological perspective, followed by valuable contributions on the theoretical and regulatory frameworks of food safety and outstanding empirical studies of Japan and China. The authors’ theoretical reflections and diverse case studies emphasize two general points: first, food risks cannot be completely controlled, and there is no ‘zero risk’; and second, food risks are multi-dimensional, often involving food secu