Food fears and raw-milk cheese
This paper examines the debate over the safety of raw-milk cheese. Departing from Nestle's categories of “science-based” and “value-based” approaches to risk assessment, the author argues that raw-milk cheese advocates, as well as proponents of pasteurisation, invoke science to support their positions, and measure risk against potential costs and benefits. Additionally, the author argues, each position is animated by, albeit differing, values and their attendant fears. While artisan cheesemakers associations have successfully averted bans on raw-milk cheesemaking in various contexts in recent years, the author concludes that they remain vulnerable to future food scares unless consumer interest in raw-milk cheese is sustained.