Uncertain Risks Regulated: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Uncertain Risks Regulated

1st Edition

Edited by Ellen Vos, Michelle Everson


456 pages

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Uncertain Risks Regulated compares various models of risk regulation in order to understand how these systems shape the relationship between law and science, and how they attempt to overcome public distrust in science-based decision-making. The book contributes to the ongoing debate relating to uncertainty and risks - and the difficulties faced by the European Union in particular - in regulating theses issues, taking account of both national and international constraints.

The term 'uncertain risk' is comparable with notions of hazard and indeterminate risk, as deployed within the social sciences; but it also aims to capture the modern regulatory reality that a non-quantifiable hazard must still be addressed by society, law and its regulators. Decisions must be taken in the face of uncertainty. And, whilst it is not possible to provide clear cut models of risk regulation, in focusing on regulatory practices at a national, EU and international level, the contributors to this volume aim to use fact finding as a core instrument of learning for risk regulation.


"This volume provides an excellent, important, erudite and timely addition to the Law, Science and Society series edited by J. Paterson, University of Aberdeen and J. Webb, University of Warwick. Both the volume editors and many of the contributors are leading scholars in the area of regulating uncertain risks. As can be expected, they provide insightful and original additions to the literature […] the volume is replete with rich insights and so deserves further readings, even for those relatively familiar with risk regulation. This collection and its individual chapters will no doubt be used by those seeking to get to grips with the problem of regulating uncertain risks, and the importance of citizen participation, for many years to come." - Mark Flear, Belfast, Common Market Law Review, Vol 47 Issue 2, 2010

Table of Contents

1. The Scientification of Politics and the Politicisation of Science, Michelle Everson and Ellen Vos Part 1: Regulating Uncertain Risks 2. Opening Pandora's Box: contextualising the Precautionary Principle in the European Union, Elizabeth Fisher Part 2: National Systems on food and Biotechnology Section 1. Case Studies on Food Regulation 3. Uncertainties in Regulating Food Safety in France, Julien Besancon and Olivier Borraz 4. The Origins of Regulatory Uncertainty in the UK Food Safety Regime Henry Rothstein 5. The Dutch Regulatory Framework for Food - Risk Analysis Based Food Law in the Netherlands, Bernd van der Meulen 6. Food Safety in Poland: Standards, Procedures and Institutions, Aleksander Surdej and Karolina Zurek 7. A Default-Logic Model of Factfinding for United States Regulation of Food Safety, Vern Walker Section 2. Case Studies on Biotechnology Regulation 8. The French Regulatory System on GMOs, Christine Noiville 9. The UK Regulatory System on GMOs: Expanding the Debate?, Maria Lee 10. GMO Regulation in the Netherlands: a Story of Hope, Fear and the Limits of ‘Poldering’, Han Somsen 11. The Polish Regulatory System on GMOs: between EU Influence and National Nuances, Patrycja Dabrowska 12. The Regulation of Environmental Risks of GMOs in the United States, Michael Rodemeyer Part 3: EU and International Models 13. The EU Regulatory System on Food Safety: Between Trust and Safety, Ellen Vos 14. The EU Regulatory System for GMOs, Greg Shaffer and Mark Pollack 15. European Regulation of GMOs: Thinking about ‘Judicial Review’ in the WTO, Joanne Scott 16. The Codex Alimentarius Commission and its Food Safety Measures in the Light of their New Status, Mariëlle Matthee Part 4: Improving the Legitimacy and Credibility of Risk Regulation: Science, Procedures, Participation and Deliberation 17. Three Intimate Tales of Law and Science: Hope, Despair and Transcendence, Michelle Everson 18. Science, Knowledge and Uncertainty in EU Risk Regulation, Marjolein van Asselt, Ellen Vos and Bram Rooijackers 19. The Role of Scientific Experts in Risk Regulation of Foods, Harry Kuiper 20. Inclusive Risk Governance through Discourse, Deliberation and Participation, Andreas Klinke 21. Sound Science in the European and Global Market: Karl Polanyi in Geneva, Christian Joerges

About the Editors

Michelle Everson is Professor of European Union Law at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has researched widely in the field of European Law and has particular interests in the areas of European regulatory law, European administrative and constitutional law and European citizenship.

Ellen Vos is Professor of European Union Law at the Law Faculty of Maastricht University. She has published extensively in the field of EU Law, institutional law (comitology and agencies), market integration and risk regulation (precautionary principle; food safety).

About the Series

Law, Science and Society

Traditionally, the role of law has been to implement political decisions concerning the relationship between science and society. Increasingly, however, as our understanding of the complex dynamic between law, science and society deepens, this instrumental characterisation is seen to be inadequate, but as yet we have only a limited conception of what might take its place. In short, there is a need for new research and scholarship, and it is to that need that this series responds.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General