Keywords: USA, United States, EU, European Union, risk, technology, normative, analytical, green economics, genetically modified food, GM crops, genetic modification, environmental issues, reflexive modernisation
Risk, genetically modified food and the US/EU divide
The Genetically Modified (GM) food and crops issue illustrates some key contemporary differences between the EU and the USA on environmental issues. These differences have been parallel to the apparently stronger influence of environmentalists since 1990 on a range of issues in the EU, compared to the USA. Beck's 'Risk Society' theory has general resonance with contemporary western attitudes to risk. However, it may be that the US regulatory framework may now be more representative of his 'analysis' of archetypal 'reflexive modernisation', while EU policies (on GM food at least) represent more self-critical, precautionary and solutions-oriented 'normative' aspects of the thesis.