Government credibility in a post-expert – world A case study of GMO communications in China

Government credibility in a post-expert – world A case study of GMO communications in China

Author: Tangyao Zhang – The Australian National University, Australia

Food security has gained much attention as one of the most significant issues in China in the 21st century. In order to make China’s food supply more secure, genetic modification technologies were have been raised as a potential solution. According to peer-reviewed scientific research, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), especially those approved by government agencies (e.g. FDA), are likely safe for human daily consuming. However, there is considerable public disquiet about the safety of GMOs in China. The opposition can be found in multiple sources including mainstream media, governmental documents (e.g. import restriction), research publications, social media, and person-to-person communications.

Currently, I am investigating stakeholders and communication mechanisms of GMO in China as my postgraduate research project, and a part of my research results indicate an inverse correlation between frequency and intensity of government-oriented GMO communication activities and the government’s decision making processes on scientific policy. This result suggests a new research question which will examine roles of government-oriented scientific research and communication, and some government credibility theories* could be introduced to build a conceptual framework to elucidate this phenomenon in China. *George Chryssochoidis, Anna Strada & Athanasios Krystallis (2009) Public trust in institutions and information sources regarding risk management and communication: towards integrating extant knowledge, Journal of Risk Research, 12:2, 137-185

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Building a theoretical basis for science communication