Modeling Risk Frames for Genetically Modified Foods

by Morgan Beltz

The regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a constant battle of how to balance science with the consumers’ perception of risk. Scientists argue that there is no evidence to prove GM foods cause harm, but opponents reply there is no way to look at the potential future risks involved. Lisa Clark (2013) provides a solution to the governance framework by outlining three potential risk frames to use when regulating GMOs; 1) proof of harm, 2) precautious, and 3) precaution through experience. Currently, the regulation of GMOs and biotechnology is split between proof of harm and precautious risk frames, causing tensions between world governments and the correct way to govern the risks associated with GMOs. Clark concludes that individually the proof of harm and precautious risks frames are good, but focus on different aspects of the regulatory process. Bringing the two frames together to create a precaution through experience risk frame constructs the most solid foundation for a concise regulatory framework across different government bodies. Continue reading