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The vast majority of consumers consider food safe in Germany

The result of the BfR Consumer Monitor is that 70% of the German consumers consider food safe. The BfR Consumer Monitor is a representative survey of the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR) on risk perception, for the first half of 2015. 

On the whole consumers consider smoking, climate and environmental changes and alcohol harmful to their health. Unhealthy or contaminated food is seen as a low risk just as in 2014. And the degree of awareness of health and consumer issues showed the same variance as 2014. While more than half of the respondents know about pesticides in fruits and vegetables or the occurrence of micro-plastics in food, only a relatively small number of respondents have heard about arsenic in rice. Least is known about the pesticide glyphosate, although the debate about its approval during the survey period got a lot of media coverage.

The food safety concerns mentioned by the consumers in the survey were in the first place antimicrobial resistance, closely followed by chemicals and pesticide residues. The consumers are still very much unsettled by GMOs. 

Although the awareness is rising that microbial contamination of food poses a health risk, this potential risk distresses consumers considerably less than the barely existing risk, as seen from a scientific perspective, caused by pesticides residues on food.

Source: / Alfons Deter

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