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About the project

The Euro-barometer show pesticides as one of the principal worries of EU consumers regarding food safety. Given this consumer concern over exposure to agrochemicals, how urgent is the economic case for improving risk assessment strategies?

Pesticide residues on foods are one of the principal worries of EU consumers when it comes to the risks associated with their food. As this worry is increasingly linked to the incidence of multiple residues, the development of methodologies to account for these residues and their effects could alleviate consumer concerns. This is particularly relevant for fresh produce, as consumers often associate pesticide residues with unprocessed products such as fruit and vegetables. Confidence in the safety of fruit and vegetables must not be eroded given the overwhelming health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Until now, cumulative risk assessment has not been part of risk management and consequently it is not known whether there is a risk or not. The lack of a methodology in itself is the principal worry of consumer groups.

The research of ACROPOLIS contributes to the development of a methodology to ensure that the missing aspects in the risk assessment of pesticides can be addressed in future risk management. This will increase trust of the consumer in safety regulation of pesticides.

In general, it is not to be expected that the new methodologies will identify more risk related to public health, since the current standard setting methodology uses the precautionary principle. However, it is often unknown how much precaution has been built into the risk assessment, because the current approach fails to separate and visualise variability, uncertainty and safety factors. ACROPOLIS will build upon this approach to visualise the three different elements.

Here you find an article about Acropolis published in International Innovation (november 2010)