This project will shed light upon the very different meanings through which genetically modified (GM) food has been understood both across times and in different countries. The project will focus upon how specific meanings are negotiated, contest alternatives and come to dominate in particular contexts and at particular times. Central to the study, then, are the processes through which actors relevant to the market for GM foods, such as pressure groups and agri-food businesses, negotiate and shape broader opinion.
News media data will be used to compare how GM foods are constructed and relate to other issues (eg nutrition/sustainability) at different times and in different places. Corpora from UK news media will be developed that reflect key epochs in the development and response to GM foods (circa 1995-2000 and 2012-16) and these used for quantitative investigation followed by further qualitative discourse analysis.
Initial understanding of the UK market can then be extended by comparison with US news media or those in other EU member states.