Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 285–295 | Cite as

Not in my body: BGH and the rise of organic milk

Article

Abstract

The advent of rBGH (recombinant bovinegrowth hormone) has spurred the establishment of anorganic milk industry. The food systems/commoditychain analytical framework cannot fully explain therise of this new food. An adequate understanding ofthe consumer's role in the food system/commodity chainrequires more attention to consumption as a form ofpolitics. One way to do this is to look at thepolitics of other new social movements, especiallythose contesting mainstream notions of risk. From thisapproach, organic milk consumption challenges rBGHfrom a ``Not-in-my-Body'' or ``NIMB'' politics of refusal,similar to the political refusal of neighborhoodresidents in ``Not-in-My-Backyard'' or ``NIMBY''environmental movements. The NIMB form of politics isnot a social movement of politically consciousconsumers, yet it is still a political activity inwhich consumers participate in the formation of theindustry through a process of ``reflexive consumption.''An analysis of producer-consumer discourse on milkcartons reveals the nature of this political formation.

Commodity chain Consumption Dairy Food politics Food systems Genetically-engineered foods Milk Organic food Risk Social movements 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, P. and C. Sachs (1993). “Sustainable agriculture in the United States: Engagements, silences, and possibilities for transformation,” in P. Allen (ed.), Food for the Future: Conditions and Contradictions of SustainabilityNew York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Barbano, D. M. (1994). “What's the fuss about cow hormones?” Consumers' Research Magazine77(5): 14–18.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Belasco, W. J. (1993). Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry.Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste.Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, P. (1993). “Popular epidemiology challenges the system.” Environment35(8) (Oct, 1993): 16–31.Google Scholar
  7. Buck, D., C. Getz, and J. Guthman (1997). “From farm to table: The organic vegetable commodity chain of northern California.” Sociologia Ruralis37(1): 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buttel, F. and C. Geisler (1989). “The social impacts of Bovine Somatotropin: Emerging issues,” in J. J. Molnar and H. Kinnucan (eds.), Biotechnology and the New Agricultural Revolution. Boulder, Colorado: Westview.Google Scholar
  9. Callon, M. (1986). “Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fisherman of St. Breux Bay,” in J. Law (ed.), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge?(pp. 196–233). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, A. and T. Montini (1993). “The many faces of RU486: tales of situated knowledges and technological contestations.” Science, Technology, & Human Values18(1): 42–79.Google Scholar
  11. Cohen, R. (1997). Milk: The Deadly Poison.Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Argus.Google Scholar
  12. Cummins, R. (1998). “Organic standards: Who really speaks for the organic consumer?” Food Bytes: News & Analysis on Genetic Engineering and Factory Farming8 (April) www.purefood.org/Organic/foodByt8.Google Scholar
  13. Dairy Foods Magazine (1997). “Organic opportunities.” December.Google Scholar
  14. Dairy Products News. (1999). May 3. DuPuis, E. M. (Forthcoming). Nature's Perfect Food.New York: NYU Press.Google Scholar
  15. DuPuis, E. M. and C. Geisler (1988). “Biotechnology and the small farm.” Bioscience38(6): 406–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Featherstone, M. (1991). Consumer Culture & Postmodernism.London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Fine, B., M. Heasman, and J. Wright (1996). Consumption in the Age of Affluence: The World of Food.New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Food Ingredients Online (1999). “Horizon purchases organic cow brand.” April 27.Google Scholar
  19. Friedland, W. H. (1994). “The new globalization: The case of fresh produce,” in A. Bonanno. L. Busch, W. H. Friedland, L. Gouveia, and E. Mingioine (eds.), From Columbus to ConAgra(pp. 210–231). Kansas City: University Press of KansasGoogle Scholar
  20. Friedmann, H. (1993). “The political economy of food.” New Left Review197: 29–57.Google Scholar
  21. Gilbert, S. (1999). “Fears over milk, long dismissed, still simmer.” New York Times, Jan 19: F7.Google Scholar
  22. Goodman, D. (1999). “Agro-food studies in the 'age of ecology': Nature, corporeality, bio-politics.” Sociologia Ruralis 39(1): 17–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goodman, D. and M. Redclift (1991). Refashioning Nature: Food, Ecology, Culture.New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Guthman, J. (1998). “Regulating meaning, appropriating nature: The codification of California organic agriculture.” Antipode30(2): 135–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hinrichsen, D. (1996). “Stratospheric maintenance: fixing the ozone hole is a work in progress.” Amicus Journal18(3): 35–39.Google Scholar
  26. Hoover, B. (1996). “The Other Milky Way.” The Detroit NewsApril 2.Google Scholar
  27. Kauffman, L. A. (1991). “New age meets new right: Tofu politics in Berkeley.” Nation253(8) (Sept 16): 294–297.Google Scholar
  28. Kenney, M., L. Lobao, J. Curry, and R. Goe (1991). “Agriculture in U.S. fordism: The integration of the productive consumer,” in W. Friedland, L. Busch, F. Buttel, and A. Rudy (eds.), Towards a New Political Economy of Agriculture. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  29. Krimsky, S. and D. Golding (eds.) (1992). Social Theories of Risk.Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.Google Scholar
  30. Latour, B. (1986). “The powers of association,” in J. Law (ed.), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge?(pp. 264–280). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  31. Looker, D. (1998). “High-level turbulence: Big dairies regroup, but some Milk Meisters continue to grow.” Successful Farming Online, November.Google Scholar
  32. Manchester, A. C. (1983). The Public Role in the Dairy Economy: Why and How Governments Intervene in the Milk Business. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  33. Manchester, A. and D. Blayney (1997). The Structure of Dairy Markets Past, Present, Future. Washington, DC: US Dept. of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.Google Scholar
  34. Marsden, T. and A. Arce (1995). “Constructing quality: Emerging food networks in the rural transition.” Environment and Planning A27: 1261–1279.Google Scholar
  35. Marsden, T. and N. Wrigley (1995). “Regulation, retailing and consumption.” Environment and Planning A27: 1899–1912.Google Scholar
  36. Miller, D. (1995). Acknowledging Consumption: A Review of New Studies.New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Mintz, S. (1985). Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  38. Murphy, K. (1999). “More buyers are asking: Got milk without chemicals?” The New York Times, August 1: 6.Google Scholar
  39. National Research Council (1996). Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society.Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  40. Newman, A. (1994). “CFC phase-out moving quickly.” Environmental Science & Technology28(1): 35–38.Google Scholar
  41. Perrow, C. (1984). Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  42. Publish RGB (online magazine) (1999). “1997 Grand Makeover.” June. www.publish.com/features/9706/makeover.Google Scholar
  43. Regional Farm and Food Project (1999). “Can we have a safe, secure food supply with just a handful of huge food corporations in control?” 2(2).Google Scholar
  44. Rural Vermont Report (1999). July-August. Szasz, A. (forthcoming). Inverted Quarantine.Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  45. Scott, M. (1997). “Organic dairy a cash cow.” Natural Foods Merchandizer, June.Google Scholar
  46. Slovic, P. (1997). “Public perception of risk.” Journal of Environmental Health59(9): 22–25.Google Scholar
  47. Slovic, P. (1992). “Perceptions of risk: reflections on the psychometric paradigm,” in S. Krimsky and D. Golding (eds.), Social Theories of Risk. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.Google Scholar
  48. Stecklow, S. (1999). “Germination: How a U.S. gadfly and a green activist started a food fight.” The Wall Street Journal, November 30.Google Scholar
  49. Thevenot, L. (1998). “Innovating in 'qualified' markets: Quality, norms and conventions.” Memorandum to the “Workshop on Systems and Trajectories for Agricultural Innovation,” Berkeley, California, April 23–25.Google Scholar
  50. US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Survey of Current Business. Selected issues.Google Scholar
  51. Vos, T. (2000). “Visions of the middle landscape: Organic farming and the politics of nature.” Agriculture and Human Values17: 245–256 (this issue).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Whatmore, S. and L. Thorne (1997). “Nourishing networks: Alternative geographies of food,” in D. Goodman and M. Watts (eds.), Globalizing Food: Agrarian Questions and Global Restructuring. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Wiles, R., K. Davies, and S. Elderkin (1995). “A shopper's guide to pesticides in produce.” EnvironmentalWorking Group, November.Google Scholar
  54. Wyngate, P. (1999). “Organic dairy: The little niche that could.” Natural Foods Merchandiser. May.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations