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Expert views on societal responses to different applications of nanotechnology: a comparative analysis of experts in countries with different economic and regulatory environments
Gupta, N. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; George, S. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2013
Journal of Nanoparticle Research : an Interdisciplinary Forum for Nanoscale Science and Technology 15 (2013)8. - ISSN 1388-0764
genetically-modified foods - public perceptions - mass-media - gm food - risk - consumer - attitudes - lessons - technologies - biopolitics
The introduction of different applications of nanotechnology will be informed by expert views regarding which (types of) application will be most societally acceptable. Previous research in Northern Europe has indicated that experts believe that various factors will be influential, predominant among these being public perceptions of benefit, need and consumer concern about contact with nanomaterials.These factors are thought by experts to differentiate societal acceptance and rejection of nanotechnology applications. This research utilises a larger sample of experts (N = 67) drawn from Northern America, Europe, Australasia, India and Singapore to examine differences in expert opinion regarding societal acceptance of different applications of nanotechnology within different technological environments, consumer cultures and regulatory regimes. Perceived risk and consumer concerns regarding contact with nanoparticles are thought by all experts to drive rejection, and perceived benefits to influence acceptance, independent of country. Encapsulation and delivery of nutrients in food was thought to be the most likely to raise societal concerns, while targeted drug delivery was thought most likely to be accepted. Lack of differentiation between countries suggests that expert views regarding social acceptance may be homogenous, independent of local contextual factors.
Attitudes and attitudinal ambivalence change towards nanotechnology applied to food production
Fischer, A.R.H. ; Dijk, H. van; Jonge, J. de; Rowe, G. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2013
Public Understanding of Science 22 (2013)7/8. - ISSN 0963-6625 - p. 817 - 831.
genetically-modified foods - emerging technologies - resisting persuasion - perceived benefits - public acceptance - health-risks - news media - trust - science - model
The strategic development of novel nanotechnologies will be determined by their public acceptance, which in turn may be influenced by public perceptions of the risks and benefits associated with the specific applications. At the present time, public opinions towards nanotechnologies remain largely inchoate, although this is likely to change with increasing public exposure to relevant information. In two experiments, a total of 618 participants, from the UK population, were provided with different risk–benefit information on nanotechnology application in food. The results show that the provision of both risk and benefit information does not influence average attitude, but results in some individuals becoming more positive and less ambivalent and others more negative and less ambivalent towards nanotechnologies. A third group maintained a neutral attitude and became more ambivalent. It is concluded that to understand public opinion formation about nanotechnology keeping track of polarization and ambivalence is important
The Impact of Balanced Risk-Benefit Information and Initial Attitudes on Post-Information Attitudes
Dijk, H. van; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Jonge, J. de; Rowe, G. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2012
Journal of Applied Social Psychology 42 (2012)8. - ISSN 0021-9029 - p. 1958 - 1983.
genetically-modified foods - gene technology - perception - negativity - trust - polarization - pesticides - acceptance - resistance - persuasion
In a realistic social context, people are confronted with both positive and negative information, yet research on this topic is relatively scarce. We present 2 studies examining the role of initial attitudes on the impact of one-sided vs. balanced positive and negative information on attitudes toward food production methods. The first experiment demonstrated that one-sided information influenced postinformation attitudes congruent to the direction of the message content. The second experiment showed that the effect of balanced information on post-information attitudes may depend on initial attitudes. These results demonstrate that negativity effects are dominant for people with initial positive attitudes, but change into positivity effects for people with initial negative attitudes. Implications for communicating both positive and negative information are discussed.
Factors influencing societal response of nanotechnology : an expert stakeholder analysis
Gupta, N. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Lans, I.A. van der; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2012
Journal of Nanoparticle Research : an Interdisciplinary Forum for Nanoscale Science and Technology 14 (2012). - ISSN 1388-0764
repertory grid methodology - genetically-modified foods - consumers perceptions - emerging technologies - risk perceptions - united-kingdom - attitudes - acceptance - benefits - opinion
Nanotechnology can be described as an emerging technology and, as has been the case with other emerging technologies such as genetic modification, different socio-psychological factors will potentially influence societal responses to its development and application. These factors will play an important role in how nanotechnology is developed and commercialised. This article aims to identify expert opinion on factors influencing societal response to applications of nanotechnology. Structured interviews with experts on nanotechnology from North West Europe were conducted using repertory grid methodology in conjunction with generalized Procrustes analysis to examine the psychological constructs underlying societal uptake of 15 key applications of nanotechnology drawn from different areas (e.g. medicine, agriculture and environment, chemical, food, military, sports, and cosmetics). Based on expert judgement, the main factors influencing societal response to different applications of nanotechnology will be the extent to which applications are perceived to be beneficial, useful, and necessary, and how 'real' and physically close to the end-user these applications are perceived to be by the public
Consumer preferences regarding food-related risk-benefit messages
Dijk, H. van; Kleef, E. van; Owen, H. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2012
British Food Journal 114 (2012)3. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 387 - 400.
genetically-modified foods - fish consumption - health - communication - nutrition - attitudes - perception - decisions - industry - bias
Purpose – The aim of this study is to identify and explore consumer preferences and information needs regarding the simultaneous communication of risks and benefits associated with food consumption. The focus is on the net health impact of risks and benefits on life expectancy, quality of life, and disability adjusted life years (DALYs). Design/methodology/approach – Focus groups were conducted in four countries (Iceland, The Netherlands, Portugal, UK). All sessions were audio-taped, transcribed and content analyzed. Findings – Current risk-benefit communication is perceived as “asymmetrical”, confusing, and often distrusted. Participants expressed a preference for more balanced and scientifically derived information. Information about the net health impact on both life expectancy and quality of life was found to be meaningful for food decision making. DALYs were thought too complicated. Research limitations/implications – Findings confirm the importance of incorporating consumers' viewpoints when developing communications about risk and benefits. The results provide insights into potential issues related to the communication of risk and benefit information. The limitations of the qualitative approach adopted in this study suggest that further research utilizing nationally representative samples is needed, which may explore additional metrics to communicate net health effects to consumers. Originality/value – Common measures for assessing both risks and benefits are expected to facilitate the communication of the results of risk-benefit assessment as part of risk analysis. However, research incorporating consumers' perspectives on this issue is scarce. A better understanding of how consumers perceive these measures may promote the development of more effective integrated risk benefit communication.
Which perceived characteristics make product innovations appealing to the consumer? A study on the acceptance of fruit innovations using cross-cultural consumer segmentation
Onwezen, M.C. ; Bartels, J. - \ 2011
Appetite 57 (2011)1. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 50 - 58.
genetically-modified foods - international market-segmentation - functional foods - convenience orientation - vegetable intake - choice motives - life-styles - gm food - consumption - attitudes
In general, fruit consumption in the EU does not meet governments' recommended levels, and innovations in the fruit industry are thought to be useful for increasing fruit consumption. Despite the enormous number of product innovations, the majority of new products in the market fail within the first two years, due to a lack of consumer acceptance. Consumer segmentation may be a useful research tool to increase the success rates of new fruit products. The current study aims to identify consumer segments based on individual importance rankings of fruit choice motives. We conducted a cross-national, online panel survey on fresh fruit innovations in four European countries: the Netherlands (n=251), Greece (n=246), Poland (n=250), and Spain (n=250). Our cluster analysis revealed three homogeneous consumer segments: Average Joe, the Naturally conscious consumer, and the Health-oriented consumer. These consumer segments differed with respect to their importance ratings for fruit choice motives. Furthermore, the willingness to buy specific fruit innovations (i.e., genetically modified, functional food and convenience innovation) and the perceived product characteristics that influence this willingness differed across the segments. Our study could lead to more tailored marketing strategies aimed at increasing consumer acceptance of fruit product innovations based on consumer segmentation
Stakeholder and consumer views regarding novel hypoallergenic foods
Putten, M.C. van; Gilissen, L.J.W.J. ; Gremmen, B. ; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M. ; Wichers, H.J. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2010
British Food Journal 112 (2010)9. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 949 - 961.
genetically-modified foods - risk-management - allergy - europe - perceptions - prevention - hazards - ethics - costs
Purpose – The development and introduction of novel hypoallergenic foods represents a potential approach to reducing the negative health impacts of food allergy. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether novel hypoallergenic foods will be accepted by food chain actors and consumers. Design/methodology/approach – Stakeholder opinions (collated using semi-structured interviews (n=16)) regarding the acceptability of novel hypoallergenic foods were assessed. Three focus groups were applied to understand the opinions of food allergic consumers. Findings – Food allergic consumers expressed a preference for a “cure” for food allergy. However, they acknowledged that hypoallergenic foods had the potential to improve the quality of lives of food allergy sufferers through increasing dietary variation and reducing restrictions on product selection. Stakeholders supported the introduction of novel foods (although this support was not universal), assuming that the products were acceptable to food allergic consumers, consumers in general and regulators. Originality/value – The paper is likely to be useful for the potential developers of hypoallergenic foods, allergen food products (food industry and scientists) and policy makers regarding the commercialisation of novel hypoallergenic foods and their regulation
Consumer perceptions of best practice in food risk communication and management: implications for risk analysis policy
Cope, S.F. ; Frewer, L.J. ; Houghton, J.R. ; Rowe, G. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Jonge, J. de - \ 2010
Food Policy 35 (2010)4. - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 349 - 357.
genetically-modified foods - expert attitudes - trust - safety - health - uncertainty - benefits - determinants - confidence - europe
As a consequence of recent food safety incidents, consumer trust in European food safety management has diminished. A risk governance framework that formally institutes stakeholder (including consumer) consultation and dialogue through a transparent and accountable process has been proposed, with due emphasis on risk communication. This paper delivers actionable policy recommendations based on consumer preferences for different approaches to food risk management. These results suggest that risk communication should be informed by knowledge of consumer risk perceptions and information needs, including individual differences in consumer preferences and requirements, and differences in these relating to socio-historical context associated with regulation. In addition, information about what is being done to identify, prevent and manage food risks needs to be communicated to consumers, together with consistent messages regarding preventative programs, enforcement systems, and scientific uncertainty and variability associated with risk assessments. Cross-cultural differences in consumer perception and information preferences suggest a national or regional strategy for food risk communication may be more effective than one applied at a pan-European level
Consumer familiarity with foods and the perception of risks and benefits
Fischer, A.R.H. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2009
Food Quality and Preference 20 (2009)8. - ISSN 0950-3293 - p. 576 - 585.
genetically-modified foods - resisting persuasion - attitude certainty - selective exposure - perceived benefits - fish consumption - information - trust - behavior - health
Differences in familiarity with food products may influence how information about the risks and benefits about foods is used in forming risk and benefit perceptions. In two experimental studies, the risk and benefit perceptions of student participants, for four foods (familiar or unfamiliar) were assessed. In experiment 1, participants had the option to voluntarily request information (N = 106). In experiment 2, participants were involuntarily exposed to varying amounts of risk and benefit information (N = 235). In the first experiment, risk and benefit perceptions for unfamiliar foods were the result of an ad hoc affect or attitude being formed from whatever information about a food was presented first. The second experiment confirmed these results. The asymmetry between risk and benefit perception can be understood in terms of prior attitude and primacy effects. The greater importance of risk information in the development of risk perception is shown, compared to the greater importance role of familiarity with foods for benefit perception. It is argued that risk and benefit perceptions associated with foods may be dependent on different psychological processes. Risk perception is more likely to be derived from deliberative information processing. Benefit perception is derived from heuristic information processing and personal experience
Trading "ethical preferences" in the market: outline of a politically liberal framework for the ethical characterization of foods
Michalopoulos, A. ; Korthals, M.J.J.A.A. ; Hogeveen, H. - \ 2008
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 (2008)1. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 3 - 27.
genetically-modified foods - trust
The absence of appropriate information about imperceptible and ethical food characteristics limits the opportunities for concerned consumer/ citizens to take ethical issues into account during their inescapable food consumption. It also fuels trust crises between producers and consumers, hinders the optimal embedment of innovative technologies, "punishes" in the market ethical producers, and limits the opportunities for politically liberal democratic governance. This paper outlines a framework for the ethical characterization and subsequent optimization of foods (ECHO). The framework applies to "imperceptible," "pragmatic," and "reasonable" food characteristics about which consumers/ citizens maintain concerns. A political perspective is assumed in that valid information is taken to serve the politically liberal and democratic functions of the market by allowing concerned citizens to make informed choices in their role as food consumers. Information is aggregated by multi-attribute modeling. It takes the form of "maximized" ("utilitarian") to "most balanced" (MINMAX) non-binary aggregate comparative rankings of perceptibly substitutable food products. The model requires the description of characteristics by means of criteria and weights (structural input), and technical input on the performance of food for these criteria (product input). Structural input is grounded on relevantly concerned citizen/consumers' perceptions. It is culture and times dependent. Availability of product input is assumed. Uses for the amelioration of the aforementioned limitations are discussed. So long as, and to the extent that, certain ethical concerns are not addressed by public policy, the ECHO framework may facilitate offering members of society a necessary (though not a sufficient) condition for regulating the ethical aspects of food production in self-regulated markets as consumers, when they are constrained to do so through their government as citizens. In doing that, the framework may contribute to the development of the ethical dimension of food production and may bring rewards for food supply actors that take reasonable concerns of citizen/ consumers into account
The quality of food risk management in Europe: Perspectives and priorities
Houghton, J.R. ; Rowe, G. ; Frewer, L.J. ; Kleef, E. van; Chryssochoidis, G. ; Kehagia, O. ; Korzen-Bohr, S. ; Lassen, J. ; Pfenning, U. ; Strada, A. - \ 2008
Food Policy 33 (2008)1. - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 13 - 26.
genetically-modified foods - mad-cow-disease - social amplification - domestic environment - public perceptions - media coverage - safety - trust - communication - attitudes
In this paper, we address the issue of food risk management as practised in Western Europe. We begin by considering how food risks are managed, and then go on to consider how well they are managed. There are multiple answers to the `how well¿ question, which are related to the varied perspectives of the different key stakeholders ¿ from the food risk managers and producers, to the general public and the media. Consequently, there is no clear answer to the question of quality. What our review does identify is two priorities relevant to our understanding of effective food risk management: first, a need for further research to determine the source and nature of the different evaluative perspectives, and second, a need for the key stakeholders to appreciate and understand the alternative perspectives in order to enhance the effectiveness of the food risk management process. Keywords: Risk analysis; Risk assessment; Risk communication; Risk management; Risk perception; Europe; Food; Media; Trust
Consumers' images regarding genomics as a tomato breeding technology: "maybe it can provide a more tasty tomato"
Heuvel, T. van den; Renes, R.J. ; Gremmen, H.G.J. ; Woerkum, C.M.J. van; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2008
Euphytica 159 (2008)1-2. - ISSN 0014-2336 - p. 207 - 216.
genetically-modified foods - biotechnology - acceptance - model - perspective - consumption - information - attitudes - products - beliefs
Methods of production are becoming more important to consumers in their decisions about whether or not to buy or consume a certain product. This decision making process is influenced, among other things, by the images consumers have with regard to the product and its method of production. In this research, consumer images regarding plant breeding technologies were ascertained by means of focus group discussions. Thirty-five respondents, divided into four homogenous groups, were given descriptions of three plant breeding techniques and challenged to provide and discuss their images of these technologies. The discussions resulted in images about genetic modification, genomics, and conventional breeding. It was interesting to see that elaboration of the descriptions changed the consumers¿ images, especially regarding the positioning of genomics in relation to the other two technologies. Whereas initially consumers¿ images placed genomics close to genetic modification, further discussion and clarification resulted in a re-positioning of genomics closer to conventional breeding.
Consumer Evaluations of Food Risk Management Quality in Europe
Kleef, E. van; Houghton, J.R. ; Krystallis, A. ; Pfenning, U. ; Rowe, G. ; Dijk, H. van; Lans, I.A. van der; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2007
Risk Analysis 27 (2007)6. - ISSN 0272-4332 - p. 1565 - 1580.
genetically-modified foods - social trust - public perception - instrument frl - information - communication - attitudes - hazards - safety - knowledge
In developing and implementing appropriate food risk management strategies, it is important to understand how consumers evaluate the quality of food risk management practices. The aim of this study is to model the underlying psychological factors influencing consumer evaluations of food risk management quality using structural equation modeling techniques (SEM), and to examine the extent to which the influence of these factors is country-specific (comparing respondents from Denmark, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom). A survey was developed to model the factors that drive consumer evaluations of food risk management practices and their relative importance (n = 2,533 total respondents). The measurement scales included in the structural model were configurally and metrically invariant across countries. Results show that some factors appear to drive perceptions of effective food risk management in all the countries studied, such as proactive consumer protection, which was positively related to consumers' evaluation of food risk management quality, while opaque and reactive risk management was negatively related to perceived food risk management quality. Other factors appeared to apply only in certain countries. For example, skepticism in risk assessment and communication practices was negatively related to food risk management quality, particularly so in the UK. Expertise of food risk managers appeared to be a key factor in consumers' evaluation of food risk management quality in some countries. However, trust in the honesty of food risk managers did not have a significant effect on food risk management quality. From the results, policy implications for food risk management are discussed and important directions for future research are identified.
Consumer acceptance of technology-based food innovations: Lessons for the future of nutrigenomics
Ronteltap, A. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Renes, R.J. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2007
Appetite 49 (2007)1. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 1 - 17.
genetically-modified foods - functional foods - information-technology - gene technology - gm food - processing technologies - perceived usefulness - user acceptance - risk perception - self-service
Determinants of consumer adoption of innovations have been studied from different angles and from the perspectives of various disciplines. In the food area, the literature is dominated by a focus on consumer concern. This paper reviews previous research into acceptance of technology-based innovation from both inside and outside the food domain, extracts key learnings from this literature and integrates them into a new conceptual framework for consumer acceptance of technology-based food innovations. The framework distinguishes `distal¿ and `proximal¿ determinants of acceptance. Distal factors (characteristics of the innovation, the consumer and the social system) influence consumers¿ intention to accept an innovation through proximal factors (perceived cost/benefit considerations, perceptions of risk and uncertainty, social norm and perceived behavioural control). The framework's application as a tool to anticipate consumer reaction to future innovations is illustrated for an actual technology-based innovation in food science, nutrigenomics (the interaction between nutrition and human genetics).
Expert views on critical success and failure factors for nutrigenomics
Ronteltap, A. ; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Renes, R.J. - \ 2007
Trends in Food Science and Technology 18 (2007)4. - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. 189 - 200.
genetically-modified foods - public-health - acceptance - diffusion - attitudes - consumers - impact
Public adoption of new technologies is an important determinant for their success. In this paper we examined a specific case of new technology in the nutrition domain ¿ nutrigenomics ¿ the interaction between nutrition and human genes. From 29 semi-structured interviews with Dutch experts in the field, we built an overview of the critical factors for the development of nutrigenomics. Our results indicate that there is not yet consensus among experts about the demarcation of nutrigenomics, its development over time and the factors that will determine market success or failure. Specific issues about which experts agree and disagree are discussed in more detail. F
Why preferences change: Beliefs become more salient through provided (genomics) information
Heuvel, T. van den; Trijp, J.C.M. van; Gremmen, H.G.J. ; Renes, R.J. ; Woerkum, C.M.J. van - \ 2006
Appetite 47 (2006)3. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 343 - 351.
genetically-modified foods - public-attitudes - choice - acceptance - knowledge - consumers - products - liking - issues
Information regarding the method of production of food products influences the decision-making process of consumers. The aim of this study is investigate to what extent information about genomics biases consumer decision making. We investigate the exact source of the biasing nature by separating the effect on consumer beliefs and the salience of those beliefs. The effect of information is tested through an information condition concerning two breeding methods, namely classical breeding and breeding enabled by genomics. The results show that consumer preferences are influenced by the information on production technology. More specifically, the consumer preferences change because consumers alter the salience of their beliefs towards the product.
Consumer perceptions of the effectiveness of food risk management practices: A cross-cultural study
Houghton, J.R. ; Kleef, E. van; Rowe, G. ; Frewer, L.J. - \ 2006
Health, Risk & Society 8 (2006)2. - ISSN 1369-8575 - p. 165 - 183.
genetically-modified foods - focus groups - perceived risk - trust - hazards - interview - attitudes - benefits - safety
Consumer perceptions of food hazards and how the associated risks are managed are likely to be an important determinant of consumer confidence in food safety. While there is a body of research that examines public perceptions of various types of food hazards, less attention has been directed to understanding how the public perceives food risk management practices. Utilizing elements of the repertory grid approach in focus group discussions, this research explored public attitudes regarding the effectiveness of current food risk management practices in four European countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece and the UK). While the issue of food safety did not emerge as a key factor in everyday food choice, participants were concerned about health aspects of food. There were three main factors that participants considered to be evidence of `good' food risk management: the existence of identifiable control systems that respond quickly to contain a risk, the instigation of preventive measures and the availability of information that offers individuals the ability to exercise informed choice. These evaluations were similar in each of the countries under consideration and were linked to ideas regarding the controllability of risks and to questions of who is responsible for managing the risks.
Novel foods and food allergies: A review of the issues
Putten, M.C. van; Frewer, L.J. ; Gilissen, L.J.W.J. ; Gremmen, B. ; Peijnenburg, A.A.C.M. ; Wichers, H.J. - \ 2006
Trends in Food Science and Technology 17 (2006)6. - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. 289 - 299.
genetically-modified foods - dial telephone survey - tree nut allergy - quality-of-life - social representation - peanut allergy - intolerance - prevalence - science - safety
This review identifies and explores the current issues around different types of novel foods and allergy concerns. An important issue relates to the observation that risk estimates associated with novel foods may differ depending on whether more emphasis is placed by the individual on the results of technical risk assessment or on an individual's perceptions of risk associated with different hazards. Consumer perceptions of benefits associated with novel foods also vary. Perceptions of what constitutes both risk and benefit appear to be important determinants of consumer acceptability of particular products. One conclusion that can be made is that novel foods have the potential to contribute to food allergy management, but that consumer acceptance is likely to differ according to the preferences of individual consumers. It is concluded that some novel foods may result in improvements on the quality of life of food allergic patients, whereas others may result in the development of further socio-economic problems
Consumer attitudes towards the development of animal-friendly husbandry systems
Frewer, L.J. ; Kole, A.P.W. ; Kroon, S.M.A. van der; Lauwere, C. de - \ 2005
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (2005)4. - ISSN 1187-7863 - p. 345 - 367.
genetically-modified foods - risks - welfare - ethics - trust - meat - credibility - information - perception - benefits
ABSTRACT. Recent policy developments in the area of livestock husbandry have suggested that, from the perspective of optimizing animal welfare, new animal husbandry systems should be developed that provide opportunities for livestock animals to be raised in environments where they are permitted to engage in ``natural behavior.¿¿ It is not known whether consumers regard animal husbandry issues as important, and whether they differentiate between animal husbandry and other animal welfare issues. The responsibility for the development of such systems is allocated jointly between farmers, regulators, different actors in the food chain, and consumers. This research focuses on understanding consumer attitudes and preferences regarding the development and introduction of such systems, to ensure that they are acceptable to consumers as well as producers, regulators, and scientists. Consumer perceptions of animal welfare and animal husbandry practices were evaluated using quantitative consumer survey, which focused on two animal husbandry issues ¿ farmed pigs and farmed fish. Following pilot work, 1000 representative Dutch consumers were sampled about their attitudes to either pig or fish husbandry. The results indicated that consumers think about animal welfare in terms of two broad categories related to their health and living environment, but do not think about welfare issues at a more detailed level. Greater concern was expressed about the welfare of pigs compared to fish. Consumer trust in labeling also emerged as an important issue, since consumers need to trust different food chain actors with responsibility for promoting animal welfare, and are reluctant to consider the details of animal husbandry systems. As a consequence, a transparent, enforceable, and traceable monitoring system for animal welfare friendly products is likely to be important for consumers.
Improving Food Safety in the Domestic Environment: The Need for a Transdisciplinary Approach
Fischer, A.R.H. ; Jong, A.E.I. de; Jonge, R. de; Frewer, L.J. ; Nauta, M.J. - \ 2005
Risk Analysis 25 (2005)3. - ISSN 0272-4332 - p. 503 - 517.
quantitative risk-assessment - genetically-modified foods - cross-contamination - predictive microbiology - salmonella-enteritidis - unrealistic optimism - peripheral routes - kitchen - model - behavior
Microbial food safety has been the focus of research across various disciplines within the risk analysis community. Natural scientists involved in food microbiology and related disciplines work on the identification of health hazards, and the detection of pathogenic microorganisms. To perform risk assessment, research activities are increasingly focused on the quantification of microbial contamination of food products at various stages in the food chain, and modeling the impact of this contamination on human health. Social scientists conduct research into how consumers perceive food risks, and how best to develop effective risk communication with consumers in order to improve public health through improved food handling practices. The two approaches converge at the end of the food chain, where the activities regarding food preparation and food consumption are considered. Both natural and social sciences may benefit from input and expertise from the perspective of the alternative discipline, although, to date, the integration of social and natural sciences has been somewhat limited. This article therefore explores the potential of a transdisciplinary approach to food risk analysis in terms of delivering additional improvements to public health. Developing knowledge arising from research in both the natural and social sciences, we present a novel framework involving the integration of the two approaches that might provide the most effective way to improve the consumer health associated with food-borne illness