Our Work Is Never Done
As ingredients and technologies become integrated into the
food supply, consumers will continue to have questions about
their purpose and safety. Therefore, constant communication
about the safety of approved food ingredients is critical to
maintaining consumer awareness and confidence. Future generations will not have benefited from educational efforts conducted when the ingredient or technology was new, validating
the need for consistency in communication efforts. For example, some consumers have questioned the importance of food
processes such as pasteurization and have opted to consume
raw milk—which poses clear food safety risks—rather than consume milk that has been “processed.” Education around food
processing, its safety and benefits, including the role of food ingredients, will be critical to maintaining the high food safety
standards achieved in the U.S.
Communications about food and nutrition must be posi-
tive—the Food & Health Survey consistently shows that most
Americans would rather hear positive messages about what to
eat, rather than negative messages about what not to eat.
2 In ad-
dition, communicators must meet consumers where they are
(e.g., in online venues) and provide simple, practical tips they
can use in their everyday lives. For example:
• Use a low-calorie sweetener in place of sugar in beverage
selections to reduce calorie intake throughout the day.
• Enjoy a 100-calorie pack of a favorite snack or dessert to
keep portions and calories in check.
healthful and affordable food in a manner that promotes
variety and moderation.
As obesity and prevalence of other diseases increase, the
safety of food ingredients, and other aspects of our food, will
continue to be questioned regarding their role in our health.
Our food supply is safer than ever before; however, there is always opportunity for improvement. Regulators, scientists, academicians and industry stakeholders should continue to work
together to improve the safety and transparency of the food
“As ingredients and technologies become integrated into the food
supply, consumers will continue to have questions about their purpose
in place of caloric sweeteners can lead to weight loss and/or
weight management. A few recent studies on this relationship
in mice and rats indicating a link have had small sample sizes
and may not be applicable to humans. These studies should be
evaluated within the context of the overall body of evidence on
Lindsey Loving is the senior director, food ingredient & technology communications for the IFIC, a nonprofit agency in Washington, DC, whose mission is to effectively communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition to
health professionals, journalists and consumers. She is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Institute of Food Technologists
(IF T), and has given recent presentations at the annual meetings of the American Dietetic Association, School Nutrition Association and IFT. She received a
bachelor’s of business administration in 2000 from James Madison University in
Do Science and Emotions Go Together?
In this environment driven by emotions and fear, it will be
important to acknowledge concerns and reassure the public of
the safety and efficacy of approved food ingredients, while
promptly communicating with the public when a legitimate
concern, such as a food safety recall, arises. Equally important,
it will be critical to provide consumers with information for
them to understand the direct benefits they receive from food
ingredients, and tips for how they can incorporate food ingredients into a healthful diet. Too much of anything can have adverse effects; therefore, providing clear, concise information
about the food supply and food choices will ensure that consumers can enjoy an abundant variety of safe, good-tasting,
5. www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/ 660.htm.
For more information on ingredient safety,