SRA Annual Meeting | © SRA

Society For Risk Analysis Kongress 2016

Travel award für Poster-Präsentation zu Acrylamid in Lebensmitteln

P.12  Can risk governance function without a risk council?

SRA Annual Meeting 2016 | © Sabine Bonneck
SRA Annual Meeting 2016 | © Sabine Bonneck

Abstract: The carcinogenic mode of action of acrylamide was not doubted by any expert when the substance was discovered in food in 2002. The criteria for the precautionary principle were undoubtedly met and the reduction of acrylamide contents in a number of products was soon to be technically feasible. In spite of this, consumer exposure could not be minimized as the risk management was: a) not transparent: the risk management did not determine the extent of the acceptable risk. It neither introduced mandatory regulatory measures nor did it explain why it did not intervene; b) not efficient: eight risk assessments were commissioned between 2002 and 2015. The results did not go considerably beyond the knowledge of the early 1990s and were not relevant for further developing the risk management process. As no effort was made to set questions in individual research areas, a large number of research results were generated where the relevance for consumer health protection remains completely unclear; c) not effective: no risk assessment policy was issued. Therefore what remained concealed was the fact that the assumptions regarding the exposure assessments were not based on scientific facts and were also not in line with the precautionary principle. Furthermore, no options for management measures were developed and evaluated. The risk governance process could have been more transparent, more efficient and more effective if it had been supervised and coordinated by a risk council. This board should include representatives of all risk relevant disciplines that consider consumer protection as their highest priority. Only a higher-ranking risk council can ensure that solutions acceptable to the general public are found within a certain timeframe.

Dr. Sabine Bonneck