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Food and everyday products: What is the population concerned about?

10/2022, 22.03.2022

BfR Consumer Monitor examines the perception of health risks

Specific nutrients such as sugar, fat and salt are currently regarded as the greatest health risks. An unhealthy lifestyle and diet ranks second by a wide margin, followed by risks due to insufficient consumer information, undesirable substances, and smoking. This is a result of the current BfR consumer monitor, a regular population survey by the BfR. "Despite concerns about some nutrients, half of the respondents consider food that can be bought in Germany to be safe," says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). "Moreover, 44 percent think that food safety will continue to increase."

Go to the BfR Consumer Monitor information booklet 02/2022:

59 percent of the respondents state to be interested in consumer health topics, about half very often inform themselves about such topics. In this regard, 78 percent consider it important that the government provides scientifically validated information on health protection.

Who should be trusted when it comes to consumer health protection? The highest level of trust is currently given to consumer centres and organisations (71 percent trust them) and science (69 percent). In a second group are public institutions, such as authorities and ministries, as well as non-governmental organisations (about 30 percent each). Placed at the end are the media, politics, and the economy (less than 20 percent each).

For the first time, the BfR Consumer Monitor included bisphenol A - BPA for short. The substance is a component of many everyday objects and can be found, for example, in plastic bottles, toys, and tins. It has been a topic of discussion for a while due to its hormone-like effects. However, merely 29 percent of respondents have heard of BPA (in comparison: 93 percent are familiar with the topic of microplastics in food). Only seven percent feel well informed about bisphenol A.

About the BfR Consumer Monitor

Be it 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 provides answers to these and other questions. For this survey, around 1,000 people living in private households, and who are at least 16 years old, are interviewed by telephone by the BfR every six months.

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 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.


Publications - BfR Consumer Monitor

Date Title Size
BfR Consumer Monitor 02/2022 465.9 KB


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