How Can We Communicate with Others By Food Risk?

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:50
Oral Presentation
Miyoko ENOMOTO, Tokyo International University, Japan
In recent years, food security experts and government officials across the world have pointed out the need and importance of “risk communication.” We can say that it is a global concern. In Japan, The Food Safety Commission plays a key role in “risk communication.” However, it does not assume the existence of communication failure and distrust.My question in this presentation is, “is risk communication valuable?” My discussion is based on a concrete instance of shared communication regarding food risks. The answer to my query becomes clear through my analysis of discourse, fieldwork, and interviews. I use Japanese cases as examples; however, similar situations may be evident globally. In my research, I consider three phases in connection with agriculture: first, governmental discourses of risk communication in which experts reference decreased food risk due to the efforts of farmers; second, improved food safety is consistent with the economic growth related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Standardized, globalized agriculture is promoted by adhering to qualifications such as Good Agricultural Practice (GAP); third, various groups as well as individuals seek other ways to avoid food risks—for example, by raising crops themselves—especially after the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Additionally, farmers whose crops and land were damaged by the nuclear accident struggle to rebuild connections with consumers. These concerns are primarily about food safety, but there also exists a political issue. Finally, I consider building relationships to address the problems of food risks in the context of politics. I conclude that we do not need “risk communication,” which explains food risk through narrow scientific discourse. However, the importance of food safety connects us, and is a necessary and shared political interest.