Through either natural processes or via technological activities new threats to human health are continually arising and quickly spread worldwide due to a more globalized production and trade.A better understanding of the drivers of these emerging risks including social, behavioral and economic aspects and good knowledge of food supply chains is extremely important for the emerging risk identification procedure.
To address these new challenges in food science, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in collaboration with the University of Parma, the University “Sacro Cuore” of Piacenza, and the University of Wageningen organized for the third year on the row, the Summer School “Emerging Risks for Food Safety and Public Perception”.
I have been kindly invited as a speaker to this Summer School and I gave a talk about how to understand consumers’ perception of emerging food safety risks: a crucial challenge for a better food safety system.
In more specific, the case studies identified were about new Advances in Food Production (GM Animals, potentially controversial technology), new potential Trends in Novel Food Consumption (e.g. Insects) and new Trends in “Healthy” Food Consumption (food associated with both benefits and risks). In specific, in the latter case I gave some examples of my recent activities as a Marie Curie fellow at Cornell University. My topic of interest is understanding better the ‘triple burden’ of malnutrition (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity). I explained some insights of my recent work on the consumer's perception of healthy eating habits, with a focus on the role of nutritional/health claims versus the new trend of clean labels (no additives, gluten-free, natural,...).
The audience was mainly represented by young researchers who would be next generation of food risk experts and they will need the capacity not only to identify such new risks but also to understand consumer perception and communication implications to the public in the best way, because...
...Science is not science till it is not communicated!