The Political Economy of the Chinese Food Traceability System: Cultivating Trust, or Constructing a Technocratic Certainty Machine?

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Dong, Miaoran




More than 50,000 Chinese citizens got sick or died from numerous recent food safety incidents, such as deceased pigs with disease re-entering the market and ending up on the Chinese citizen's table (BBC, 2019). Not only have these incidents stirred up public rage and outcry, but they have also undermined the public's trust in the food safety system (Kendall et al., 2019). The sheer scale and rapid spread of Internet food-related rumours have spurred the Chinese government to collaborate with technology giants to build a large-scale, market-driven, and technocratic food traceability system. The food traceability system has also become the prototype for how other public policy issues are approached. The upshot of these observations is that the rapid development of the food traceability system in China over the last decade or so is a microcosm for understanding much broader processes of social, economic, political and technological development in China.


Mass Communications
Public and Social Welfare
Economics - Agricultural




Carleton University

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