Dioxin scandal: majority no longer trust


After the dioxin scandal: the majority of Germans have no confidence in food controls. A quarter of all consumers increasingly rely on organic products.

24.01.2011
Fewer and fewer people in Germany place their trust in official food controls. Only a minority of consumers believe that the controls are sufficient to rule out residues in food that are hazardous to health. In a recent survey, only 27 percent indicated that food was adequately examined for residues of pesticides by the authorities.

Confidence has dropped visibly Consumer confidence has fallen in the visible area following the dioxin scandals. According to a study by the Society for Consumer Research (GfK), significantly more people were trusting than last year in the autumn of last year. A total of 1004 women and men were interviewed over the phone specifically for the study. About a third of all participants stated that they were critical of the controls carried out by the authorities. Consumers over the age of 50 and respondents at higher education levels were particularly skeptical. There were also differences in results between the new and old federal states. People in the east were much more critical of controls in the food industry than consumers in the west.

A quarter of consumers rely on organic products A quarter of the survey participants stated that they now switched entirely to organic eggs and organic meat. Older respondents with a higher education in particular showed a great affinity for organic products. Although organic goods are much more expensive, consumers with a lower income want to switch to organic products. 32 percent of the lower income brackets (less than 1000 euros net per month) only use organic meat and organic eggs in the supermarket.

Little trust in restaurants and snack bars Trust in restaurants, bakeries and snack bars is also not very pronounced. According to the results of the study, just 35 percent of consumers are convinced that the suppliers only processed uncontaminated eggs and meat products. Many young people in particular were less critical and showed greater trust overall. The proportion of secondary school graduates is also less worried. Overall, people were more critical, especially in the big cities.

Organic sector on the upswing In fact, the organic sector is currently experiencing a real boom. In places, organic eggs in particular are literally sold out in the markets. According to a study by the University of Bonn, the boom is by no means a snapshot due to the dioxin scandal. The researchers can see a steady upward trend in the organic sales market since 2000. Between 2000 and 2009 sales increased by 180 percent. High-earners in particular are increasingly turning to organic products. Experts believe that the pollutant scandal will result in higher sales increases for organic producers.

Stricter controls announced Due to the dioxin scandal, the 27 European ministers of agriculture have agreed today to carry out stricter controls in particular for feed manufacturers. EU agricultural commissioner Dacian Ciolos is to prepare a proposal for this next week. For example, the goal is to better coordinate the monitoring of fat producers. In the future, manufacturers of fats should strictly separate industrial fats with animal feed fats. The early warning system for dioxins is also to be improved within the EU. If laboratories of companies detect dioxins in feed or food, they should be legally obliged in future to report the discovery in good time. (sb)

Also read:
Antibiotic detected in feed
Dioxin exposure has apparently been known for months
Health risk from dioxin eggs
Organic industry benefits from the dioxin scandal
Detect dioxin eggs in the supermarket

Image: Halina Zaremba / pixelio.de

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