Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Food Safety and the Politics of Risk After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Presented by: Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna - Assistant Professor of Anthropology - SMU, Dallas, TX

Tue, September 26, 2017 | Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Food Safety and the Politics of Risk After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 earthquake, which precipitated a deadly tsunami and the ensuing accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.  The aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was characterized by widespread mistrust of the Japanese state and its ability to guarantee the safety of the food supply for the general population.  In addition to the potential exposure to radiation, the accident also contributed to an environment where trust between food producers and consumers was hard to establish.  Farmers had to take additional steps to reassure their customers, and consumer co-ops developed procedures to test food and reassure their members that they were safe to consume.  This talk examines the processes by which farmers and consumer groups negotiated the risks of radiation under these difficult circumstances. 

Dr. Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the study of food, the body, the environment, risk, science & technology, the senses and political economy, with a regional interest in Japan.  His research looks at food safety after the Fukishima nuclear accident and focuses on how citizens handled new risks and scientific information about their food options.

Sponsored by: MITSUBISHI PROF IN JAPANESE STUDIES, Dr. Patricia Maclachlan

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