Liam, Lawson: Travel Grant - 2016-2017

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
Regulating Kampo: Food and Function in Japan
Project Abstract: 
This project examines recent attempts on the part of Japanese food-production companies and academic food-scientists to re-categorize traditional Japanese herbal medicines (kampo) as "functional foods." Functional foods are food products with demonstrable health benefits in excess of their basic nutritional value. These extra benefits are achieved through the addition of efficacious molecules called “nutraceuticals.” This project explores how this regulatory re-classification is practically achieved by conducting interviews with Japanese health and safety regulators, food scientists, and food-product brand developers. It contributes to a wider anthropology of food, medicine, and technocratic governance.