What's for dinner? European farming and food traditions confront American biotechnology

Paulette Kurzer, Alice Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors examine why member states of the EU-15 differ in their hostility with regards to genetically modified crops and food. The authors trace this variation to two variables. First, they examine the impact of the presence (or absence) of alternative food production regimes and food traditions. If a vigorous eco-farming or regional food specialties sector exists, environmental and consumer associations can cement a strategic alliance with small farmers' organizations. This green-green bloc generally manages to heighten public resistance to genetically modified crops and food and thereby to exert strong influence on national policy makers. The second variable is the biotech industry, which, if strong enough, can usually prevail against even a strong green-green bloc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1058
Number of pages24
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Community legislation
  • Genetically modified food
  • Public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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