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Experts expect public to be better informed on nutritional issues

Update: May, 15/2013 - 10:11
Illustrative image.— Photo vnexpress

HCM CITY (VNS)— Scientists and journalists should improve their relationships so the public can learn more about emerging science on nutrition, food safety and health, experts have said.

Despite an abundance of information on food-related science, many consumers remain confused, according to experts at a media workshop on food science communications held yesterday in HCM City.

For example, biotech-applied food, such as genetically modified food (GMO), is a source of controversy for readers. Some media outlets laud the benefits of GMO products and others condemn it.

At least 130 research projects over the last 25 years have shown that GMO products did not have higher risk of environmental and food safety than conventional plants and organisms, said Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin, adjunct professor and director of Biotechnology Research and Education Programme at the University of California.

According to the World Health Organisation, GMO products increase agricultural productivity and improve nutritional value, she said.

Experts recommended that journalists use many different reliable sources when writing on a topic related to nutrition, food safety and health issues.

Andy Benson, vice president of the International Food Information Council, said journalists should meet scientists to double check the accuracy of research projects in order to help consumers have a clear understanding of the issue.

For their part, scientists should contact journalists directly and speak to them about their reports, he added.

At the workshop, Kimberly Reed, executive director of International Food Information Council Foundation, said journalists should also consult the new guidelines on nutrition, food safety and health recommended by the Harvard School of Public Health and her foundation.

Dr Bui Chi Buu, vice president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences for Southern Viet Nam, said that the co-operation between journalists and scientist in Viet Nam had improved in recent times.

The academy plans to offer more opportunities to strengthen co-operation in the near future, he added.

The workshop was organised by the Viet Nam Academy of Agricultural Sciences in co-operation with the International Food Information Council Foundation. It was held in Ha Noi on Monday and in HCM City yesterday. — VNS


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