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Luteijn J.M.,University of Ulster | White B.C.,University of Ulster | Gunnlaugsdottir H.,MATIS | Holm F.,FoodGroup Denmark and Nordic NutriScience | And 13 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

Benefit-risk assessment in medicine has been a valuable tool in the regulation of medicines since the 1960s. Benefit-risk assessment takes place in multiple stages during a medicine's life-cycle and can be conducted in a variety of ways, using methods ranging from qualitative to quantitative. Each benefit-risk assessment method is subject to its own specific strengths and limitations. Despite its widespread and long-time use, benefit-risk assessment in medicine is subject to debate and suffers from a number of limitations and is currently still under development. This state of the art review paper will discuss the various aspects and approaches to benefit-risk assessment in medicine in a chronological pathway. The review will discuss all types of benefit-risk assessment a medicinal product will undergo during its lifecycle, from Phase I clinical trials to post-marketing surveillance and health technology assessment for inclusion in public formularies. The benefit-risk profile of a drug is dynamic and differs for different indications and patient groups. In the end of this review we conclude benefit-risk analysis in medicine is a developed practice that is subject to continuous improvement and modernisation. Improvement not only in methodology, but also in cooperation between organizations can improve benefit-risk assessment. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Magnusson S.H.,MATIS | Gunnlaugsdottir H.,MATIS | van Loveren H.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Holm F.,FoodGroup Denmark and Nordic NutriScience | And 13 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

Over the past years benefit-risk analysis (BRA) in relation to foods and food ingredients has gained much attention; in Europe and worldwide. BRA relating to food microbiology is however a relatively new field of research. Microbiological risk assessment is well defined but assessment of microbial benefits and the weighing of benefits and risk has not been systematically addressed. In this paper the state of the art in benefit-risk analysis in food microbiology is presented, with a brief overview of microbiological food safety practices. The quality and safety of foods is commonly best preserved by delaying the growth of spoilage bacteria and contamination by bacterial pathogens. However, microorganisms in food can be both harmful and beneficial. Many microorganisms are integral to various food production processes e.g. the production of beer, wine and various dairy products. Moreover, the use of some microorganisms in the production of fermented foods are often claimed to have beneficial effects on food nutrition and consumer health. Furthermore, food safety interventions leading to reduced public exposure to foodborne pathogens can be regarded as benefits. The BRA approach integrates an independent assessment of both risks and benefits and weighs the two using a common currency.Recently, a number of initiatives have been launched in the field of food and nutrition to address the formulation of the benefit-risk assessment approach. BRA has recently been advocated by EFSA for the public health management of food and food ingredients; as beneficial and adverse chemicals can often be found within the same foods and even the same ingredients. These recent developments in the scoping of BRA could be very relevant for food microbiological issues. BRA could become a valuable methodology to support evaluations and decision making regarding microbiological food safety and public health, supplementing other presently available policy making and administrative tools for microbiological food safety management. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Verhagen H.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Verhagen H.,Maastricht University | Verhagen H.,University of Ulster | Tijhuis M.J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | And 12 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

Risk-taking is normal in everyday life if there are associated (perceived) benefits. Benefit-Risk Analysis (BRA) compares the risk of a situation to its related benefits and addresses the acceptability of the risk. Over the past years BRA in relation to food and food ingredients has gained attention. Food, and even the same food ingredient, may confer both beneficial and adverse effects. Measures directed at food safety may lead to suboptimal or insufficient levels of ingredients from a benefit perspective. In BRA, benefits and risks of food (ingredients) are assessed in one go and may conditionally be expressed into one currency. This allows the comparison of adverse and beneficial effects to be qualitative and quantitative. A BRA should help policy-makers to make more informed and balanced benefit-risk management decisions. Not allowing food benefits to occur in order to guarantee food safety is a risk management decision much the same as accepting some risk in order to achieve more benefits. BRA in food and nutrition is making progress, but difficulties remain. The field may benefit from looking across its borders to learn from other research areas. The BEPRARIBEAN project (Best Practices for Risk-Benefit Analysis: experience from out of food into food; http://en.opasnet.org/w/Bepraribean) aims to do so, by working together with Medicines, Food Microbiology, Environmental Health, Economics & Marketing-Finance and Consumer Perception. All perspectives are reviewed and subsequently integrated to identify opportunities for further development of BRA for food and food ingredients. Interesting issues that emerge are the varying degrees of risk that are deemed acceptable within the areas and the trend towards more open and participatory BRA processes. A set of 6 'state of the art' papers covering the above areas and a paper integrating the separate (re)views are published in this volume. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Tijhuis M.J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Tijhuis M.J.,Maastricht University | Pohjola M.V.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Gunnlaugsdottir H.,MATIS | And 14 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

An integrated benefit-risk analysis aims to give guidance in decision situations where benefits do not clearly prevail over risks, and explicit weighing of benefits and risks is thus indicated. The BEPRARIBEAN project aims to advance benefit-risk analysis in the area of food and nutrition by learning from other fields. This paper constitutes the final stage of the project, in which commonalities and differences in benefit-risk analysis are identified between the Food and Nutrition field and other fields, namely Medicines, Food Microbiology, Environmental Health, Economics and Marketing-Finance, and Consumer Perception. From this, ways forward are characterized for benefit-risk analysis in Food and Nutrition. Integrated benefit-risk analysis in Food and Nutrition may advance in the following ways: Increased engagement and communication between assessors, managers, and stakeholders; more pragmatic problem-oriented framing of assessment; accepting some risk; pre- and post-market analysis; explicit communication of the assessment purpose, input and output; more human (dose-response) data and more efficient use of human data; segmenting populations based on physiology; explicit consideration of value judgments in assessment; integration of multiple benefits and risks from multiple domains; explicit recognition of the impact of consumer beliefs, opinions, views, perceptions, and attitudes on behaviour; and segmenting populations based on behaviour; the opportunities proposed here do not provide ultimate solutions; rather, they define a collection of issues to be taken account of in developing methods, tools, practices and policies, as well as refining the regulatory context, for benefit-risk analysis in Food and Nutrition and other fields. Thus, these opportunities will now need to be explored further and incorporated into benefit-risk practice and policy. If accepted, incorporation of these opportunities will also involve a paradigm shift in Food and Nutrition benefit-risk analysis towards conceiving the analysis as a process of creating shared knowledge among all stakeholders. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Kalogeras N.,Maastricht University | Odekerken-Schroder G.,Maastricht University | Pennings J.M.E.,Maastricht University | Gunnlaugsdottir H.,MATIS | And 13 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

All market participants (e.g., investors, producers, consumers) accept a certain level of risk as necessary to achieve certain benefits. There are many types of risk including price, production, financial, institutional, and individual human risks. All these risks should be effectively managed in order to derive the utmost of benefits and avoid disruption and/or catastrophic economic consequences for the food industry. The identification, analysis, determination, and understanding of the benefit-risk trade-offs of market participants in the food markets may help policy makers, financial analysts and marketers to make well-informed and effective corporate investment strategies in order to deal with highly uncertain and risky situations. In this paper, we discuss the role that benefits and risks play in the formation of the decision-making process of market-participants, who are engaged in the upstream and downstream stages of the food supply chain. In addition, we review the most common approaches (expected utility model and psychometrics) for measuring benefit-risk trade-offs in the economics and marketing-finance literature, and different factors that may affect the economic behaviour in the light of benefit-risk analyses. Building on the findings of our review, we introduce a conceptual framework to study the benefit-risk behaviour of market participants. Specifically, we suggest the decoupling of benefits and risks into the separate components of utilitarian benefits, hedonic benefits, and risk attitude and risk perception, respectively. Predicting and explaining how market participants in the food industry form their overall attitude in light of benefit-risk trade-offs may be critical for policy-makers and managers who need to understand the drivers of the economic behaviour of market participants with respect to production, marketing and consumption of food products. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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