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‘Peeling Back the Mask’: Sociopathy and the Rhizomes of the EU Food Industry

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This article examines the EU food industry (apropos of the 2013 ‘Horse Meat Scandal’) applying the notion of sociopathy which has hitherto been confined to analyses of corporate banking and insurance. In the ‘underground’ of the EU meat industry we encounter sociopaths nurtured not only by the rhizomes of its industrial con, but also by collective consumer apathy: Despite a pervasive culture of food fraud—with at least 1305 different ingredient adulteration cases since 1980—there is little criminological examination of the culture and environment of the everyday, ‘harmless’, sociopaths present in the tributaries of the EU food supply. More than merely mapping the food industry sociopath, our overall aim is to contribute an interdisciplinary reading of the processes which sustain and reproduce his kind.

Affiliations: 1: School of Social Science and Public Policy, Keele University, Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG, UK,


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