Product and food safety enjoys confidence

Consumers largely rate the safety of food purchased in Germany as high. This is revealed by the Consumer Monitor, a regular representative survey carried out by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Half of the population rates food as safe or very safe. The proportion for body care products and children's toys is slightly lower at around 40 percent. Many more people rate the safety of clothing as average. "The BfR Consumer Monitor proves that confidence in the safety of food and products of everyday consumption is high overall," says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "This contradicts the widespread assumption that consumers are largely distrustful."

Link to the Consumer Monitor:

When asked what they thought were the biggest health risks for consumers, 26 percent of respondents mentioned undesirable substances (such as "pollutants", "chemicals", "toxins"). In second place are plastics and additives (each eleven percent), followed by insufficient or misleading consumer information (nine percent). When asked about predetermined consumer health issues, 64 percent of survey participants rate microplastics in food as very worrying. Antimicrobial resistance came in second place with 56 percent, followed by plant protection product residues in food (54 percent), genetically modified food (45 percent), glyphosate in food (43 percent) and food hygiene in restaurants (41 percent).

Considerable interest in consumer health issues was expressed by 61 percent in the survey. To protect against health risks, 81 percent consider the provision of scientifically proven information by the state to be very important, 62 percent explicitly support bans and restrictions.

Consumer advice centres and science are believed

Consumer advice centres and organisations and science enjoy the greatest confidence when it comes to consumer health protection, followed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Public institutions, such as authorities and ministries, the media, business and politics tend to be met with greater distrust.

About the BfR Consumer Monitor

Whether antimicrobial resistance, microplastics, salmonella or aluminium in foods - which health risks do the population know about and what is it that worries them? The BfR Consumer Monitor, a representative population survey that has been conducted regularly since 2014, provides answers to these and other questions. To this end, around 1,000 people living in private households in Germany take part in telephone interviews conducted on behalf of the BfR. Furthermore, the BfR conducts representative surveys on individual topics of particular current interest, such as tattoos, e-cigarettes, superfoods or food additives.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It advises the Federal Government and the federal states ("Länder") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts independent 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.

Publications - BfR Consumer Monitor 1

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