University of Twente partner in major EU project on food risk communication

University of Twente partner in major EU project on food risk communication

Twente researchers granted a subsidy of nearly three hunderd thousand euros for FoodRisC project

The research centre for Conflict, Risk and Safety Perception at the University of Twente is participating in a major new European research project on food risk communication. An international partnership has secured a subsidy of three million euros for the project, almost 300,000 of which will go to research at the University of Twente. The aim of the project is to produce concrete tools to improve communication on food risks and benefits.

As customers, we receive a lot of information about the food we eat. Every day, we are bombarded with legitimate but sometimes unjust information about the benefits of certain foods and the harmful effects of others. Moreover, a series of ‘food scares’ in recent years has undermined consumer confidence in food, such as BSE, the Dioxin Affair in Belgium and very recently the case in China where milk was contaminated with melamine. Better information provision would lead to fewer food-related illnesses, a reduction in economic losses as a result of food scares, and improved confidence in foods.

To this end, a major three-year European project on food risk communication is being launched. Researchers on the project will study how consumers deal with information about the benefits and risks of specific foods. The goal of the project is to create a toolkit for policy makers, food authorities and other parties from the various EU member states that will facilitate effective and coherent communication on food safety. Researchers will also examine how we can better utilize new social media, such as social networking sites and blogs.

FoodRisC

The project, which has been named FoodRisC, is due to start soon and will take a total of three years to complete. The research will be conducted by universities from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Latvia and the Netherlands and the European Food Information Council (EUFIC). The European Union has earmarked a total of three million euros for the project, almost 300,000 of which will go to research at the University of Twente. The research at the University of Twente will be carried out by researchers from the research centre for Conflict, Risk and Safety Perception iCRiSP within the Research Institute for Social Sciences and Technology, IBR.

Note to the press

For further details please contact Margôt Kuttschreuter (+31 (0)6-51071151).