Food crime

A green criminology perspective

Authored by: Hazel Croall

Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415678827
eBook ISBN: 9780203093658
Adobe ISBN: 9781317809005


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While some forms of harm and damage to the environment can seem intangible or indirect, the impacts of pollution, conflict or misconduct can have very evident and obvious consequences in the case of the cultivation and distribution of food. As one of the key resources necessary for sustaining life, food is also subject to similar legal but morally dubious, deviant and criminal forms of manipulation and exploitation as other products of the planet (South 2010: 240–42). Consumers can be poisoned by everyday foods, defrauded by counterfeit products and a host of misleading marketing practices (Croall 2007), while populations may starve as others profit from food diversion and land-related conflicts. Despite all this – and notwithstanding the status of food as an absolutely fundamental and valued good – crimes involving food, with a few notable exceptions (e.g., Walters 2006, 2011) have not featured strongly in criminology. A green criminology provides a particularly appropriate location for further investigation and discussion of food crimes.

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