Speaking at the IFT expo and conference in Chicago this week, Deluyker said that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) struggled to translate scientific information into language that consumers could use and understand.
“We are trying to communicate proactively,” he said. “What seems to be really missing from a consumer trust perspective is a Wikipedia of food safety. We are really struggling to translate our scientific opinions into information that is easily understandable by the public.
“…Not to hold people by the hand, but we need an interactive website that people can use something like a Wikipedia.”
He said that such a site was already in the planning process and should be up and running by the end of the year, funding permitting.
“We have received comments that our opinions are written by a bunch of nerds,” he said. “…It’s in everyone’s interest that they [the public] understand them, but it really is a question of resources. We need to continue to invest in consumer trust.”
EFSA launched an initiative to improve transparency in its risk assessments back in January, including allowing public access to scientific data and opening its scientific meetings to the public. This followed a report from independent auditors last year that said its communication was “adequate for a well-informed target audience”.