Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Quantitative Textual Analysis as a means to explore corporate interests in food safety

Vasilescu, Corina L., McKee, Martin and Reeves, Aaron ORCID: 0000-0001-9114-965X (2023) Quantitative Textual Analysis as a means to explore corporate interests in food safety. Health (United Kingdom). ISSN 1363-4593

Full text not available from this repository.

Identification Number: 10.1177/13634593231173807


The growing body of scholarship on the commercial determinants of health has, so far, mostly employed qualitative methods but this is now being complemented by a small, yet growing, corpus of quantitative studies. We illustrate the use of one such method, quantitative text analysis (QTA), in a case study of submissions to a public consultation on a draft scientific opinion by the European Food Safety Authority on the chemical acrylamide, demonstrating how this method can be used and insights that might be drawn from it. We use Wordscores as one example of QTA to illuminate the diverse positions taken by actors submitting comments and then assess whether the final policy documents moved towards or away from the positions taken by different stakeholders. We find a broadly uniform position among the public health community, opposed to acrylamide, contrasting with industry positions that were not monolithic. Some firms recommended major amendments to the guidance, largely reflecting the impact on their practices, while policy innovators seeking ways to reduce acrylamide in foods aligned with the public health community. We also find no clear movement in the policy guidance, likely because most submissions supported the draft document. Many governments are required to conduct public consultations, some attracting enormous numbers of responses, with little guidance on how best to synthesise the responses so the default position is often a count of those for and against. We argue that QTA, primarily a research tool, might usefully be applied in analysing public consultation responses to understand better the positions taken by different actors.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2023 15:00
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 02:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item