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Integrating the consumer interest in food safety: the role of science and other factors†

Authors
Journal
Food Policy
0306-9192
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
27
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0306-9192(02)00003-9
Disciplines
  • Engineering
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract Consumers are questioning the ability of the modern food system to provide safe food. This review of the use of monosodium glutamate (MSG), food irradiation, pesticide residues, and genetic engineering highlights the differences in views between public interest organisations, governments and industry associations and some of the reasons behind them. Whereas governments and industry generally support the adoption of new technologies, consumer organisations question the underlying need, which results in less willingness to accept the risks, even when they are small. Given that Uruguay Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) has made the recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission the benchmark for food standards and that countries are allowed to adopt stricter standards only if they are scientifically justified, this review concludes that there is a need to better integrate the consumer interest at the international level.

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