Milking anomie: experiencing food safety on Canadian dairy farms
Gray, Allison D.
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The developing discipline of Food Crime requires the analysis of food safety responsibility from a critical structural perspective. Analyzing the Canadian dairy industry, this project seeks to answer how the legal definition of food safety impacts the production practices of farmers, and where farmers place the burden of food safety responsibility, while partially testing institutional anomie theory. A legal discourse analysis of food safety law in Canada is performed to contextualize individual interviews with six active family-farmers in rural southern Ontario in order to determine how dairy farmers experience food safety legislation. As hypothesized, farmers experience food safety law through forms of disempowerment and alienation involving dairy production products, leading to a partial displacement of responsibility for safe food. The ideas of institutional anomie theory were insignificant or inconclusive for these case studies. More research is required to determine potential policy implications concerning the safety of Canadian food.