The Stakes in Steak: Examining Barriers to and Opportunities for Alternatives to Animal Products in Canada
(2018) 41:1 Dalhousie Law Journal 219-252
35 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2018
This Article considers some of the different food innovations being presented as potential solutions to the myriad problems associated with conventional models of industrial agriculture. Specifically, in vitro meat (IVM) and plant-based alternatives to animal products—and their corresponding regulatory and market structures—are compared and contrasted. Examining the idiosyncrasies around Canada’s approach to regulating these products reveals that the respective degrees of scrutiny may not be commensurate with the respective degrees of risk, due in part to the influence of powerful industry actors who wish to maintain the status quo. Given the significance and scope of the problems implicated by the industrial food production system, favouring special economic interests comes at the detriment of a much wider group of stakeholders. As such, the governance of new food innovations requires a more critical and thoughtful approach if it is to better reflect shared aspirations for a more just and sustainable food system for all.
Keywords: in vitro meat, plant-based alternatives, food innovation, food systems governance
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