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Report Highlights Transparency as Key to Building Confidence in Vital Food Technologies

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Report Highlights Transparency as Key to Building Confidence in Vital Food Technologies

April 04
09:43 2012

A new report examines how to build public confidence in innovative technologies – including those used in the food and drink industry which will enable sustainable food production. Entitled ‘What’s fair to ask? What’s fair to share?’, the report is the culmination of 18 months’ work by the think tank MATTER.

It states that the public appears to have a significant amount of confidence in the products of innovation but highlights that they, in common with others such as investors, NGOs and retailers, want to see more transparency from the companies producing innovative products to reassure them of their safety and effectiveness.

Crucially the report also includes guidance about what those in various departments of companies can do to respond to expectations around transparency, and to help build confidence in innovative technologies.

Communications consultancy and MATTER member College Hill is among a number of leading companies and organisations funding the report, and emphasising how long-term food sustainability will rely on new technologies which may seem unclear or unpalatable if not communicated effectively.

Victoria Cross, a member of MATTER and partner at College Hill comments: “We welcome this report and endorse its conclusions. It is important that the public and other stakeholders understand developments which affect the food they eat as they are proposed and introduced. Nanotechnology and irradiation are two technologies being introduced into food and food ingredient production, and the public’s understanding of the issues that arise from their introduction is needed.”

She adds: “To this end it is vital that the innovators are transparent and open about what they are doing, how they are doing it, their motives – and the potential benefits for us all of such developments. By taking this approach scare stories about new technologies will fail to gain traction and a rational and sensible debate can take place.”

A pdf of the MATTER report is available by contacting clare.walder@collegehill.com.

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