Keywords: ambiguity, error models, agricultural risk governance, mutual trust governance, risk management, top-down governance, agriculture, Germany, intensive pig breeding scandal, EU regulatory control, European Union, food production
Paradigms and paradoxes of agricultural risk governance
Essential requirements of council directives and legal provisions in medical feedstuffs are not satisfied in Germany. The 'Schweinemastskandal' (intensive pig breeding scandal) sheds light on the various stakeholders that exploit ambiguous EU regulatory control structures through the use of hazardous feeding stuff and prophylactic prohibited medication. This case helps the understanding of particular phenomena in agricultural risk management: The EU governance system aims for price competitive quality food, and controls the producer indirectly, delegating the essential control functions to national authorities that delegate to the controller, who in turn is also the key to over-medication and hence risk taking. The farmer strives for economic efficiency, profit maximisation and market share, and is furnished illegal medication by certain veterinarians who are paradoxically judge and party to the production process.