The challenges of consulting the public on science policy: examining the development of European risk assessment policy for genetically modified animals

Hartley, Sarah and Millar, Kate M. (2014) The challenges of consulting the public on science policy: examining the development of European risk assessment policy for genetically modified animals. Review of Policy Research, 31 (6). pp. 481-502. ISSN 1541-1338

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Abstract

With the growing importance of public engagement in science policy-making and declining levels of public trust in food production, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has attempted to embed ‘good governance’ approaches to strengthen scientific independence and open-up risk decision-making, which include the use of public consultations. However ‘opening-up’ of risk assessment policies reveals some tensions, namely: balancing the goals of scientific excellence and transparency; protecting science from interests; addressing value judgments; limited opportunities to debate ethical and social issues. EFSA’s development of risk assessment policy for genetically modified animals is used as a case study to analyse these tensions. This analysis suggests that in order to fulfil good governance commitments and maintain trust in risk governance closer cooperation between EFSA and the European Commission is required to provide ‘space’ for debating the broader risk management issues. This publically-accessible space may be needed alongside rather than instead of EFSA’s consultation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hartley, S. and Millar, K.M. (2014), The Challenges of Consulting the Public on Science Policy: Examining the Development of European Risk Assessment Policy for Genetically Modified Animals. Review of Policy Research, 31: 481–502, which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/ropr.12102. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: biotechnology; international governance; civil society; developed countries; risk; risk assessment; GMO; genetically modified organisms; food safety; Europe; European Commission; public engagement
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/ropr.12102
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 08:56
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 18:08
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35189

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