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Timotijevic L.,University of Surrey | Brown K.A.,University of Surrey | Lahteenmaki L.,University of Aarhus | de Wit L.,University of Surrey | And 11 more authors.
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2013

A key step toward developing appropriate evidence-based public health nutrition policies is determining exactly how that evidence should be collected and assessed. Despite this the extent to which different evidence bases influence policy selection is rarely explored. This article presents an epistemological framework which offers a range of considerations affecting this process generally and with particular implications for both micronutrient requirements and the role of behavior in the policy-making process. Qualitative case study data covering 6 European countries/regions (Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Nordic countries, Poland, and Spain), and three micronutrients (folate, iodine, and vitamin D), have been presented to illustrate the relevance of the Framework. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-4-02 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2010

Plant food supplements, or botanicals, have high acceptance by European consumers. Potentially, they can deliver significant health benefits, safely, and at relatively low costs. New regulations and EFSA guidance are also now in. However, concerns about safety, quality and efficacy of these products remain, and bottle-necks in risk and benefit assessments need to be solved. PlantLIBRA (PLANT food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment) aims to foster the safe use of food supplements containing plants or herbal extracts, by increasing science-based decision-making by regulators and food chain operators. To make informed decisions, competent authorities and food businesses need more quality-assured and accessible information and better tools (e.g., metadatabanks). PlantLIBRA is structured to develop, validate and disseminate data and methodologies for risk and benefit assessment and implement sustainable international cooperation. International cooperation, on-spot and in-language capacity building are necessary to ensure the quality of the plants imported in the EU. PlantLibra spans 4 continents and 23 partners, comprising leading academics, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, industry and non-profit organizations. Through its partners it exploits the databases and methodologies of two Network of Excellences, EuroFIR and Moniqa. Plantlibra will also fill the gap in intake data by conducting harmonized field surveys in the regions of the EU and apply consumer sciences to botanicals. Existing composition and safety data will be collated into a meta-databank and new analytical data and methods will be generated. The overarching aim is to integrate diverse scientific expertise into a single science of botanicals. PlantLIBRA works closely with EFSA since several PlantLIBRA partners or experts are involved in the relevant EFSA Working Groups, and also plans shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation with competent authorities and stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-04 | Award Amount: 12.16M | Year: 2013

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy (by patients and health practitioners) and allergens (by industry) is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic. iFAAM will develop evidence-based approaches and tools for MANAGEMENT of ALLERGENS in FOOD and integrate knowledge derived from their application and new knowledge from intervention studies into FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT plans and dietary advice. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place. Our approach will build on e-Health concepts to allow full exploitation of complex data obtained from the work in this proposal and previous and ongoing studies, maximising sharing and linkage of data, by developing an informatics platform Allerg-e-lab. This will enable us to (1) Extend and integrate existing cohorts from observation and intervention studies to provide evidence as to how maternal diet and infant feeding practices (including weaning) modulate the patterns and prevalence of allergies across Europe (2) Establish risk factors for the development of severe reactions to food and identify associated biomarkers (3) Develop a clinically-validated tiered risk assessment and evidence-based risk management approach for food allergens for allergens in the food chain (4) Develop clinically-relevant multi-analyte methods of analysis suited to allergen management across the food chain Stakeholders will be integrated into iFAAM to deliver harmonised integrated approaches, including RISK ASSESSORS AND MANAGERS managing population risk, the FOOD INDUSTRY who manage allergens to ensure consumer safety, HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS to provide food allergy management plans and dietary advice and ALLERGIC CONSUMERS to manage individual risk.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-1-02 | Award Amount: 3.80M | Year: 2010

FoodRisC will characterise key configurations of food risk/benefit relationships and the consequent implications for risk communicators, make recommendations about the unique potential of new social media (e.g. social networks and blogging) and provide a systematic understanding of how consumers deal with food risk/benefit information. The FoodRisC consortium is comprised of experts in key fields relevant to food risk/benefit communication from research institutes, consumer organisations and SMEs in ten Member States. This consortium is supported by an Advisory Board of representatives from seven organisations of world renown in food risk/benefit communication (including EFSA, WHO and Google).The project will identify the barriers to communicating to consumers across Europe and identify key socio-psychological and socio-demographic characteristics, including gender, that affect food risk/benefit perceptions and processes as well as consumer preferences for communication channels. These objectives will be achieved through a range of research approaches and methods and by extending the theoretical basis of how people acquire and use information in food domains. The impact of the project will be at a European level and will be facilitated through the development of the FoodRisC toolkit together with practical guidance to enable the effective communication of coherent messages across the Member States. Use of the toolkit and guides will assist policy makers, food authorities and other end users in developing common approaches to communicating coherent messages to consumers in Europe. The effective spread of food risk/benefit information will assist initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of food-related illness and disease, reducing the economic impact of food crises and ensuring that confidence in safe and nutritious food is fostered and maintained in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-3 | Award Amount: 11.29M | Year: 2013

The aim of HELIX is to exploit novel tools and methods (remote sensing/GIS-based spatial methods, omics-based approaches, biomarkers of exposure, exposure devices and models, statistical tools for combined exposures, novel study designs, and burden of disease methodologies), to characterise early-life exposure to a wide range of environmental hazards, and integrate and link these with data on major child health outcomes (growth and obesity, neurodevelopment, immune system), thus developing an Early-Life Exposome approach. HELIX uses six existing, prospective birth cohort studies as the only realistic and feasible way to obtain the comprehensive, longitudinal, human data needed to build this early-life exposome. These cohorts have already collected large amounts of data as part of national and EU-funded projects. Results will be integrated with data from European cohorts (>300,000 subjects) and registers, to estimate health impacts at the large European scale. HELIX will make a major contribution to the integrated exposure concept by developing an exposome toolkit and database that will: 1) measure a wide range of major chemical and physical environmental hazards in food, consumer products, water, air, noise, and the built environment, in pre and postnatal periods; 2) integrate data on individual, temporal, and toxicokinetic variability, and on multiple exposures, which will greatly reduce uncertainty in exposure estimates; 3) determine molecular profiles and biological pathways associated with multiple exposures using omics tools; 4) provide exposure-response estimates and thresholds for multiple exposures and child health; and 5) estimate the burden of childhood disease in Europe due to multiple environmental exposures. This integration of the chemical, physical and molecular environment during critical early-life periods will lead to major improvements in health risk and impact assessments and thus to improved prevention strategies for vulnerable populations.


PubMed | Hylobates Consulting Srl, Polytec ApS, UK Institute of Food Research, University of Milan and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Food chemistry | Year: 2015

The newly developed ePlantLIBRA database is a comprehensive and searchable database, with up-to-date coherent and validated scientific information on plant food supplement (PFS) bioactive compounds, with putative health benefits as well as adverse effects, and contaminants and residues. It is the only web-based database available compiling peer reviewed publications and case studies on PFS. A user-friendly, efficient and flexible interface has been developed for searching, extracting, and exporting the data, including links to the original references. Data from over 570 publications have been quality evaluated and entered covering 70 PFS or their botanical ingredients.


PubMed | German Allergy and Asthma Association Deutscher Allergie und Asthmabund DAAB, MoniQA, DTS, Hospital Clinico San Carlos and 21 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Allergy | Year: 2015

Precautionary allergen labelling (PAL) was introduced by the food industry to help manage and communicate the possibility of reaction from the unintended presence of allergens in foods. However, in its current form, PAL is counterproductive for consumers with food allergies. This review aims to summarize the perspectives of all the key stakeholders (including clinicians, patients, food industry and regulators), with the aim of defining common health protection and risk minimization goals. The lack of agreed reference doses has resulted in inconsistent application of PAL by the food industry and in levels of contamination that prompt withdrawal action by enforcement officers. So there is a poor relationship between the presence or absence of PAL and actual reaction risk. This has led to a loss of trust in PAL, reducing the ability of consumers with food allergies to make informed choices. The result has been reduced avoidance, reduced quality of life and increased risk-taking by consumers who often ignore PAL. All contributing stakeholders agree that PAL must reflect actual risk. PAL should be transparent and consistent with rules underpinning decision-making process being communicated clearly to all stakeholders. The use of PAL should indicate the possible, unintended presence of an allergen in a consumed portion of a food product at or above any proposed action level. This will require combined work by all stakeholders to ensure everyone understands the approach and its limitations. Consumers with food allergy then need to be educated to undertake individualized risk assessments in relation to any PAL present.


Rutsaert P.,Ghent University | Rutsaert P.,International Rice Research Institute | Pieniak Z.,Ghent University | Regan T.,University College Dublin | And 7 more authors.
Food Policy | Year: 2014

Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the determinants of risk perception and in identifying the necessary components of effective food risk and benefit communication, this has not been matched with the development of efficient and appropriate communication tools. Little work has been done examining the implications of the explosion of new media and web technologies, which may offer potential for improving food risk and benefit communication. First, this study examines the views of stakeholders (n= 38) and experts (n= 33) in the food domain on the potential use of these emerging media for food risk/benefit communication. Based on in-depth interviews in six European countries (Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Spain and The Netherlands), strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of social media in food risk and benefit communication were identified. Second, a Strategic Orientation Round (SOR) was used to evaluate the relative importance of the SWOT components according to stakeholders (n= 10) and experts (n= 13). Results show that both stakeholders and experts confirm a future role of social media in food risk and benefit communication. Strengths as speed, accessibility and interaction make social media an interesting tool in crisis communication or issue awareness raising. Weaknesses as the lack of a filter, low trust, the risk of information overload and a communication preference for traditional media are acknowledged. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Hylobates Consulting srl, Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Regioni Lazio e Toscana and Centro Of Ricerca Per Gli Alimenti E La Nutrizione
Type: | Journal: Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis | Year: 2016

Semisoft cheese made from raw sheeps milk is traditionally and economically important in southern Europe. However, raw milk cheese is also a known vehicle of human listeriosis and contamination of sheep cheese with Listeria monocytogenes has been reported. In the present study, we have developed and applied a quantitative risk assessment model, based on available evidence and challenge testing, to estimate risk of invasive listeriosis due to consumption of an artisanal sheep cheese made with raw milk collected from a single flock in central Italy. In the model, contamination of milk may originate from the farm environment or from mastitic animals, with potential growth of the pathogen in bulk milk and during cheese ripening. Based on the 48-day challenge test of a local semisoft raw sheeps milk cheese we found limited growth only during the initial phase of ripening (24 hours) and no growth or limited decline during the following ripening period. In our simulation, in the baseline scenario, 2.2% of cheese servings are estimated to have at least 1 colony forming unit (CFU) per gram. Of these, 15.1% would be above the current E.U. limit of 100 CFU/g (5.2% would exceed 1,000 CFU/g). Risk of invasive listeriosis per random serving is estimated in the 10

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