Risk Analysis Consumer Protection

Risk Analysis Consumer Protection

Client: Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) (2001-2002) | Area: Health Research

Main Interest |

Creation of a scientific expert assessment for the Bundestag Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment on “Pro and contra of separating risk assessment and risk management – state of discussion in Germany and Europe” in the context of a preparative study of the TAB “Structures of Organisation and Communication in the field of researching transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)”.


SINE-Mandate |

Tasks of SINE included:

  • Evaluation of the situation regarding the revision of the institutional architecture in health consumer protection after the German BSE crisis (on the basis of the report by the von-Wedel commission)
  • Exemplary analysis of institutional innovations (particularly: Federal Office for Risk Assessment and Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety)
  • Analysis of other European Institutions as potential model for Germany (especially: British Food Standards Agency, French AFSSA, concept of the European Food Safety Authority EFSA)
  • Creation of an assessment matrix for institutional innovations
  • Creation of political recommendations for Germany


Methods |

  • Semi-standardised expert interviews with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMVEL), the Federal Ministry of Health (BMGS), the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (former BgVV), state ministries, the British Food Standards Agency, expert from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Content analysis of reports, websites and existing risk management strategies regarding health consumer protection in Germany as well as other European member states and the EU itself


Results |

Results of the study have been published as TAB background report Nr. 10:“Pro und Kontra der Trennung von Risikobewertung und Risikomanagement – Diskussionsstand in Deutschland und Europa”. Berlin.

Furthermore, the SINE report was complemented by a TAB information event on 7th May 2003 in Berlin: “The further development of health consumer protection as inter-agency task. Risk – discourses and solutions”. At this event, members of parliament, members of the TAB, the head of the risk commission of the Federal Government, a representative of the BfR and other scientists discussed the implications of the report.

A summary of the results of the workshop can be accessed via the following publication: Büro für Technikfolgenabschtzung (Hrsg.): Risikoregulierung bei unsicherem Wissen: Diskurse und Lösungsansätze. Dokumentation zum TAB-Workshop “Die Weiterentwicklung des gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutzes als ressortbergreifende Aufgabe”, Diskussionspapier Nr. 11, März 2005.


Responsible | Dr. Kerstin Dressel (project management), Dr. Stefan Böschen, Dr. Willly Viehöver and PD Dr. Michael Schneider