Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 459–477 | Cite as

Virgil, Vigilance, and Voice: Agrifood Ethics in an Age of Globalization

  • Lawrence Busch


Some 2000 years ago, Virgil wroteThe Georgics, a political tract on Romanagriculture in the form of a poem. Today, as aresult of rising global trade in food andagricultural products, growing economicconcentration, the merging of food andpharmacy, chronic obesity in the midst ofhunger, and new disease and pest vectors, weare in need of a new Georgics that addressesthe two key issues of our time: vigilance andvoice. On the one hand, vigilance must becentral to a new Georgics. Enforceablestandards for food safety, food quality,environmental protection, worker health andsafety, sanitary and phytosanitaryrequirements, animal welfare, and appellationsmust be addressed. On the other hand, a newGeorgics must increase the range of persons whohave voice in the democratic governance of anew global agrifood system. New organizationsand institutions will be needed to accomplishthis task.

agricultural policy democracy governance standards Virgil 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Busch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Food and Agricultural StandardsMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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