Food Safety Magazine

NEWS | November 19, 2020

EFSA's Social Scientists Complete Draft Assessment of Risk Communication Theory and Best Practice

By Staff

EFSA's Social Scientists Complete Draft Assessment of Risk Communication Theory and Best Practice

EFSA's social scientists have completed a draft assessment of risk communication theory and social practice. The European Commission will now be able to implement a new provision of the 2019 Transparency Regulation, the "General plan for risk communication" on EU food safety.

Comments deadline is January 17, 2021. 

EFSA is calling on risk communication and science communication experts and specialists to review and comment on the draft scientific report. This would include practitioners at national, EU and international risk assessment and risk management public authorities. The document looks at examination of evidence from peer-reviewed literature, which covers critical issues in EU food safety risk communication. These issues include:

  • increasing awareness, understanding and confidence in EU food safety
  • communicating the difference between ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’
  • tackling false information and its sources
  • taking into account risk perceptions of different audiences
  • targeting different audiences and tailoring information to their needs
  • developing tools for EU-wide risk communication planning and operations

The general plan "should promote an integrated risk communciation framework followed by both the risk assessors and the risk managers in a coherent and systematic manner both at Union and national level," according to the Transparency Regulation. After the consultation, EFSA's social scientists will review the feedback, and finalize the scientific report, which is scheduled for March/April 2021.

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