A fact check on health risks

People choose a vegan diet primarily for health reasons - true or false? As part of the Long Night of the Sciences (LNDW) on June 5, 2021, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is reviewing facts on various health risks. In addition to three expert interviews, there will also be a talk with the BfR Vice President, Professor Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle, and the Head of the Department Risk Communication, PD Dr. Gaby-Fleur Böl. "The results of our work promote a factual and social discourse," says Schwerdtle. "But how can science succeed in standing up to disinformation? How does the institute set scientific standards in consumer health protection to make the world safer for people?" If you want to know more, you can join in on Saturday via Zoom and ask your own questions using the chat function.

The BfR program for the LNDW and further information (in German):

This year's LNDW in Berlin had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite the cancelled events on-site, there will be digital events on June 5, 2021 on the topic of "Science as a response to fake news, conspiracy theories and fatal errors". These also include live talks from the BfR with in-house researchers, which will take place every hour between 18:15 and 21:15 hrs. On the subject of "Health Risks - A Fact Check", the interviews will shed light on the results of work on the topics of tattoos, veganism and food infections. The conversation with Vice President Professor Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle will also focus on the BfR's way of working, research priorities and mission.




5th June 2021, hourly between 18:15 and 21:15 hrs.

18:15 hrs | Vegan nutrition: What happens in the head - and in the body?
More and more people in Germany are giving up food of animal origin. Their motives for doing so are both ideological and health-related. The BfR has researched the topic in several studies from different perspectives. Which diet is better? Or is it all just a question of values? Professor Dr. Cornelia Weikert, Head of the Risks to Subpopulations and Human Studies Unit, and Dr. Mark Lohmann, Head of the Sociology of Risk and Risk Benefit Appraisal Unit, provide answers to these and other questions.

19:15 hrs | Summer, sun, food infections
Germs multiply particularly quickly in heat and high humidity. This applies not only to meat, fish and raw eggs, but also to vegetables, fruits and herbs. In conversation with Dr. Heidi Wichmann-Schauer, Head of the Bacterial Toxins, Food Service Unit at the BfR, we find out which foods are particularly affected and how we can protect ourselves from food infections in the summer.

20:15 hrs | Assess, research, communicate - strong partners for the protection of human health
The BfR is an independent scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It provides advice on food, chemical and product safety issues. But how does it succeed in assessing health risks? How does the BfR stand up to disinformation? And how does it help make the world safer for people? Answers to these and other questions are provided by Professor Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle, Vice President of the BfR, and PD Dr. Gaby-Fleur Böl, Head of the Department Risk Communication.

21:15 hrs | A risk that gets under your skin: Laser tattoo removal
For health reasons, tattoos should not be removed. Laser irradiation causes the colour pigments to break down into sometimes toxic substances. We talk with Dr. Ines Schreiver, Head of the Dermatotoxicology Study Centre, about the degradation products and migration paths of pigments in the body.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. The BfR advises the Federal Government and the States ('Laender') on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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