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Lisa F. Clark  - University of Saskatchewan . Saskatoon , SK, CA

Lisa F. Clark

Research Associate | University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon , SK, CANADA

Political Scientist researching food politics and food policy



Lisa F. Clark  Publication







Lisa holds a PhD in political science from Simon Fraser University. Currently, she is a research associate with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. She is examining the political and socioeconomic dimensions of innovative ready-to-use foods. Her research interests include food security, food quality standards and labelling, food safety regulations, and technology & innovation in the food system. Lisa’s work has appeared in Food Policy, Science and Public Policy, Social Philosophy Today and most recently, Food Law & Policy. Her new book, The Changing Politics of Organic Food in North America is available in hardback and e-book from Edward Elgar Publishing. Lisa is also a co-host on The Laundry List - feminist talk radio show broadcasting from Saskatoon.

Industry Expertise (6)

Agriculture and Farming

Food Distribution

Food Processing

Food Production

Public Policy

Food and Beverages

Areas of Expertise (12)

Food Agriculture & Environment

Public Policy Analysis

Governance & Regulation


Food Safety and Security

Food Policy

Food Politics

Risk & Governance



organic agriculture

Organic Food

Education (1)

Simon Fraser University: PhD, Political Science

Fields of International Relations (Political Economy) and Canadian Politics (Public Policy)

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (8)

The Laundry List - Saskatoon's feminist talk radio show

CFCR community radio  radio

listen live on Mondays @ 6PM (CST) on 90.5FM CFCR or online at we podcast too!

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Counterfeit foods

NewsTalk770  radio


discussed recent cases of food fraud

Organic food politics

CTV Saskatoon  tv


interviewed about organic foods in Canada - are they worth it?

Saskatchewan author tracks rise of organic food movement

OrganicBiz  print


Saskatchewan author tracks rise of organic food movement

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Saskatchewan researchers examine ways to end malnutrition in Ethiopia

CBC Saskatoon  online


Saskatchewan researchers examine ways to end malnutrition in Ethiopia; Pulse crops might be the answer

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Food security and Ethiopia

CBC Radio 1  radio


interviewed about food security in Ethiopia

Organic food

CBC Radio 1 Blue Sky  radio


interviewed about the politics of organic foods

The Big Business of Organic Food

On Campus News  print



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Event Appearances (3)

Consuming information: Packaging Facts & Processing Perceptions

Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists  North Battleford, SK


Politics and organic food

SaskOrganics AGM  Kenaston, SK


Panel on Women in Organic Agriculture

Organic Connections conference  Regina, SK


Articles (9)

The current status of DNA barcoding technology for species identification in fish value chains

Food Policy


Abstract DNA barcoding technology is championed as superior to current species identification methods because of its expert-authenticated verification system and accuracy. Despite the general consensus that DNA barcoding is a valuable innovation for authenticating food products vulnerable to substitution, this paper explores some of the challenges to the formal adoption of barcoding into multi-level policy. It discusses the scope of the problem of mislabelling and substitution in fish value chains, how barcoding is currently used in the public and private sectors, and some recommendations for further implementation. It also includes a discussion of the status of DNA barcoding in the United States and in Canada’s food safety surveillance systems to combat fraud, mislabelling and species substitution in fish value chains.

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Mediating the GM Foods Debate: Lessons from the Enduring Conflict Framework

Journal of Food Law and Policy


co-authored with Michaela J. Keet and Dr. Camille D. Ryan

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Maintaining Scientific Integrity in Canadian regulatory protocols: Using Strategic Thinking to Facilitate Innovation and Enhance Engagement Policy Brief No. 10

Genome Canada


This brief takes a systems approach to explore how Canadian regulation protocols for Genetically Modified (GM) crops and foods can maintain scientific integrity while encouraging effective engagement by stakeholder groups. Discussed are the challenges faced by the regulatory system for GM crops and foods in the context of broader science and technology policy initiatives in Canada.

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Democratic Legitimacy, Risk Governance and GM food

Social Philosophy Today


co-authored with Neil A. Hibbert The use of Genetic Modification (GM) in food is the subject of deep political disagreement. Much of the disagreement involves different perceptions of the kinds of risks posed by pursuing GM food, and how these are to be tolerated and regulated. As a result, a primary institutional site of GM food politics is regulatory agencies tasked with risk assessment and regulation. Locating GM food politics in administrative areas of governance regimes produces unique challenges of democratic legitimacy, conventionally secured through legislative channels. In particular, debate over the ends of a society’s policy on GM food inevitably continues in these institutional locations, despite conventional instrumental understandings of administrative legitimacy resting on effective application of ‘ends-means’ norms. This paper assesses the two major regulatory frameworks currently applied to GM food—the ‘precautious’ (associated with European jurisdictions) and ‘proof of harm’ (associated with North American jurisdictions) approaches—and presents their respective limits in securing the procedural and substantive dimensions of the legitimacy of administrative deference in democratic societies. On the basis of these criticisms, a synthesized and emergent approach—‘experiential precaution’—is presented as having the resources to deepen the legitimacy of risk governance institutions in the case of GM food. It is characterized by deepened participatory practices of negotiated rule-making and inclusion of further substantive requirements in approval criteria.

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Direct Democracy, State Governments and the Re-energized GMO Debate: Implications of California's Proposition 37



co-authored with Camille D. Ryan and William A. Kerr

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Framing the Uncertainty of Risk: Models of Governance for GM Foods

Science and Public Policy


The interpretation of risk in governance frameworks for genetically modified (GM) foods is an important component of their design and function. This paper develops the concept of a risk frame to better understand how perceptions of risk, uncertainty, and authority over evidence are considered in governance frameworks for GM foods. It develops a typology of risk frames: the proof of harm, precautious and precaution through experience risk frames. The ‘precaution through experience’ risk frame is an emergent concept offering possible avenues beyond current regulatory standoffs by incorporating both scientific and socio-economic perspectives of risk in deepened deliberative settings. The paper uncovers how varying interpretations of uncertainty and acceptable levels of risk associated with innovative technologies influence the development of public policy within regulatory frameworks for biotechnology.

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Bioproduct Approval Regulation: An Analysis of Front-line Governance Complexity



co-authored with Peter W.B. Phillips The behaviors and seemingly disconnected exchanges between actors operating within subcomponents of hierarchical decision-making systems can contribute to unanticipated broader-system effects. The concept of complexity is a useful way of better understanding the influential nature of these connections on decision-making outcomes. This article presents the findings on subsystem complexity in bioeconomy governance from research undertaken by members of the VALGEN Regulation and Governance team. It demonstrates how applying Social Networking Analysis (SNA) and kurtosis analysis to regulatory frameworks can be used to uncover complexity within multilevel governance. SNA reveals how informal interactions in the decision-making process can impact the regulatory process. Kurtosis analysis shows how inputs into regulatory frameworks are not evenly reflected in the outputs. The article discusses the results of these methodologies applied to approvals in Canada of plants with novel traits and argues that appropriate qualitative and quantitative data sources are important to understanding complexity within the governance structures of the bioeconomy.

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Expanding markets and evolving regulations for Canadian certified organic foods

Canadian Food Insights


This review explores the evolving market and regulatory framework for certified organic foods in Canada. It begins by briefly tracing the development of early organic standards in Canada. It then looks at the negotiations around establishing the Canadian organic standards that led to ratification in 2009. The review also examines current policy initiatives in the form of strengthened trade policy and evolving food safety regulations in Canada and how they relate to the growing certified organic food sector in Canada.

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Innovations in Food Assistance Strategies and Therapeutic Food Supply Chains

Emerald Group Publishing


co-authored with Jill E. Hobbs This chapter discusses how changes in institutional objectives for international food assistance have influenced the organization of supply chains for innovative therapeutic foods designed to address problems of malnutrition and undernutrition. It draws upon insights from donor and international organization reports, policy documents, and academic publications to reveal the structure, goals, and objectives of international organizations involved in food assistance strategies. Explores how innovations in Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods and Ready-to-Use Supplementary Foods fit into food assistance strategies and broader humanitarian goals. This chapter raises important considerations to factor into the design and execution of international food assistance strategies using LRP/P3 modes of organization. It contributes to an understanding of the challenges of organizing international food assistance strategies that include socioeconomic goals of sustainability and nutrition objectives.

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