Download PDF
April 23, 2018

EFSA Consumer Survey about Emerging Food Safety Issues Includes Nanoparticles

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On April 16, 2018, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a report entitled “EU Insights — Consumer perceptions of emerging risks in the food chain.”  To understand better the views of European Union (EU) consumers on food-related emerging risks, EFSA surveyed 25 EU countries using three examples of emerging risks:  green smoothies, plastic rice, and nanoparticles.  According to the report, the study found that consumers tended to be more concerned about established risks than about emerging risks.  The report states that the study documented a lack of knowledge about the emerging risks used in the survey.  The perceptions of the risks posed by nanoparticles used in food were mixed overall, with a similar proportion of participants perceiving high risks (27 percent) and low risks (31 percent).  Communicating information about the nature of the risk and the level of uncertainty that surrounds it “may have a significant impact on risk perception, pointing to the malleability of perceptions of emerging risks.”