ESEP 12:113-122 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00127

Uncertainty of, and stakeholder response to, emerging technologies: food nanotechnology in Japan

Masashi Tachikawa*

College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami-town, Ibaraki, 300-0393, Japan

ABSTRACT: Food nanotechnologies pose a number of difficulties in risk assessment and risk management, such as data collection, definition, and classification of materials. There is no clear consensus as to what is to be regulated and who would be involved in the area of food nanotech. In this paper, I have described how stakeholders respond to various uncertainties related to food nanotechnologies, and tried to elucidate the dynamic nature of uncertainties and societal stakes that occurred during negotiations among various stakeholders in the case of food nanotechnologies in Japan. Three ways taken by stakeholders to respond to these situations were analyzed based on the experiences of participatory research. These are: (1) trying to reconstruct uncertainty while the stakes are regarded as given, (2) trying to reconstruct stakes while the uncertainty is regarded as given, and (3) trying to reconstruct uncertainty and stake at the same time. I conclude with a discussion of some ethical implications for stakeholder identification and dealing with uncertainty.


KEY WORDS: Food nanotechnology · Uncertainty · Stakeholders · Japan


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Cite this article as: Tachikawa M (2012) Uncertainty of, and stakeholder response to, emerging technologies: food nanotechnology in Japan. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 12:113-122. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00127

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