Risk Perception: A Challenge to the Development of Risk-based Food Safety Policy

The past two decades has seen increased progress in our striving to develop food safety policies that are science-based and risk-based. However, reaching consensus about the appropriate level of protection our food safety systems should provide is still severely hampered by the widely divergent perceptions of risk among different segments of the population and similar divergent interpretations of the supporting scientific knowledge. Without a concerted effort to better understand risk perception and de-sensationalize the science underlying food safety, we will continue to struggle in achieve food safety systems that meet the needs of both the individual consumer and society in general.