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Public consultation on the draft scientific report on technical assistance in the field of risk communication

EFSA has launched an open consultation on a draft scientific report on Technical assistance in the field of risk communication. This document provides an assessment of risk communication theory and best practice by EFSA’s social science experts and staff to support the European Commission implement a new provision of the 2019 ‘Transparency Regulation’ (Regulation (EU) 2019/1381): a General Plan on Risk Communication (GPRC) for EU food safety. The GPRC should promote an integrated risk communication framework followed both by the risk assessors and the risk managers in a coherent and systematic manner both at Union and national level.

EFSA is calling on risk communication and science communication experts and specialists – including practitioners at national, EU and international risk assessment and risk management public authorities – to review and comment on the draft scientific report. It examines evidence from peer-reviewed and grey literature covering critical issues in EU food safety risk communication, including:

  • increasing awareness and understanding of the roles of risk assessors and risk managers to enhance confidence in risk analysis
  • reducing ambiguity of the difference in meaning between ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’
  • tackling false information and its sources
  • taking into account the risk perceptions of different audiences
  • segmenting audiences and tailoring information to their needs
  • developing mechanisms for structured risk communication planning and operations

We invite interested parties to submit written comments by 24 January 2021. Please use the electronic template provided to submit comments and refer to the line and page numbers. While the template is the only platform to be used for submitting comments, additional information to support your comments can be submitted using the upload function available in the tool (for files with a maximum size of 1 Mb). In case of technical issues in the upload of the supporting files you can contact specific unit’s functional mailbox: socialscience [at] (socialscience[at]efsa[dot]europa[dot]eu)

All comments related to the EFSA draft scientific output must be inserted in the electronic submission. Comments will not be considered unless submitted via the platform, e.g. comments submitted as part of any attachments will not be accepted.

Please note that comments will not be considered if they:

  • are submitted after the closing date of the consultation;
  • are presented in any form other than that indicated in the instructions and the template;
  • are not related to the content of the document;
  • contain complaints against institutions, personal accusations, irrelevant or offensive statements or material;
  • are related to policy or risk management aspects, which are out of the scope of EFSA's activity.

EFSA will assess all comments which are submitted in line with the criteria above. The comments will be further considered by EFSA and taken into consideration if found to be relevant.

Copyright-cleared contributions

Persons or organisations participating in a Public Consultation of EFSA are responsible for ensuring that they hold all the rights necessary for their submissions and consequent publication by EFSA. Comments and any additional information supporting the comments should inter alia be copyright-cleared by taking into account EFSA’s transparency policy and practice to publish all submissions. In case the submission reproduces third-party content in the form of charts, graphs or images, the required prior permissions of the right holder(s) should have been obtained by the PC respondent.

Publication of contributions

The comments and the related supporting information submitted will be published (as part of an EFSA report published together with the final opinion) and may be re-used by EFSA in a different context. It should be noted that comments submitted by individuals in a personal capacity will be published as such, indicating the author’s first and family name, unless a substantial justification for protection is provided by the respondent. Comments submitted on behalf of an organisation are also made publicly available and attributed to the organisation in question.

Please note that additional information provided to support comments will be published as well. Besides ensuring that the submission is copyright-cleared, public consultation respondents shall ensure that the material can be published as such by EFSA without any need for further editing or redaction, including the masking or suppression of any personally identifiable information (e.g.: person’s name, contact details, signature).