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Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 867–883 | Cite as

Of Mice and Men: European Precautionary Standards Challenged by Uncertainty

  • Aurélie Roussary
  • Bruno Bouet
  • Denis Salles
Articles
  • 114 Downloads

Abstract

For several years, the official European method for deciding whether or not shellfish were fit for human consumption was the mouse bioassay, which was eventually replaced by chemical testing. In this paper, we examine the process of this change, looking at how devices of social, technical, and organisational risk management were re-negotiated locally, nationally, and across the continent. We also show how the political decision to replace a precautionary standard with a management-vigilance device was the result of various dynamics. These included unpredictable events (sanitary crises, unknown toxins, etc.), enhanced scientific knowledge, collective mobilisations (corporate bodies, public controversies), and multi-level statutory, commercial, and ethical orders.

Keywords

Food security European precautionary standards Uncertainty Scientific expertise Arcachon bay 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Irstea (National Institute of Research in Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture)CestasFrance

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