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Contamination of food with biological agents: An integrated risk analysis and risk communication approach

Objective

In spite of efforts to improve safety throughout the food chain, globalization of the food trade presents new challenges to assure food safety. Any contamination that occurs in one country may have severe consequences on both health and trade in other countries. Moreover, the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax incidents gave rise to concerns about food terrorism. The destructive impact of food contamination, intentional or unintentional, could easily affect an enormous amount of people and could result in high costs for the world’s economy. Besides its effects on health and economy, deliberate or accidental food contamination may have social implications such as social and political instability. Contamination of food from biological agents is a focus of concern across various disciplines within the risk analysis field. Natural scientists are mainly concerned about risk assessment, whereas social scientists are focused on risk perception and risk communication. The integration between these two disciplines is quite limited, whereas effective campaigns would require collaboration between natural and social sciences, the former to ensure that the advice is technically sound, the latter to ensure that is accepted and executed (Fischer et al., 2005). Fischhoff et al. (2006) have pursued such an integrated strategy in many other domains, using risk analysis models to focus and coordinate the relevant behavioral and natural sciences. The proposed project would strengthen the behavioral realism of this integrated approach and apply it to the possibility of deliberate or accidental food contamination with a biological agent. Specifically, the expertise of natural and social science experts will be combined and used to communicate with European consumers about the nature of these risks and the things that they can do to control them.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /social sciences
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
  • /natural sciences

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2007-4-1-IOF
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Address
Kings Gate
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 225 416,08
Administrative Contact
Nicola Dolman (Ms.)

Participants (1)

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY

Participation ended

Netherlands
Address
Droevendaalsesteeg 4
6708 PB Wageningen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Lynn J. Frewer (Prof.)