Food, chemicals and risk analysis
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We all consume many thousands of different chemicals in our food every day. Most of these chemicals are natural constituents of the food we eat. Some are present as a result of contamination from the environment, some arise during production, processing and preparation, and some are intentionally added to food. All chemicals have one characteristic in common: the potential to cause toxicological harm to consumers. Given the huge numbers of chemicals present, it is clear that the vast majority cannot be causing any actual harm; indeed, many are known to confer benefits. The purpose of risk analysis is to identify those chemicals in food which might cause harm, to analyse the potential consequences, to consider any possible benefits and to decide on any action necessary to protect consumers, whilst not unnecessarily impeding trade.
KeywordsRisk Analysis Risk Communication Food Chemical Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Potential Adverse Health Effect
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