Risk Perception of the TSE Roadmap – A Comparative Study of the Risk Perceptions of Stakeholders in Europe

Risk Perception of the TSE Roadmap – A Comparative Study of the Risk Perceptions of Stakeholders in Europe

Main Interest |

In the context of the Network of Excellence (NoE) Prevention, Control and Management of Prion Diseases (NeuroPrion) SINE conducted an analysis of risk perception and risk communication strategies regarding the so-called TSE-Roadmap in Germany and the United Kingdom.

In July 2005, the European commission published the TSE-Roadmap containing a set of proposals on how – in the light of declining number of cases of BSE – the strict measures regarding the disease can be gradually reduced. In this connection, TSE (also known as prions) means a set of diseases of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and includes diseases like the mad cow disease BSE, the sheep disease Scrapie or the Creutzfeldt-Jakob-disease occurring in humans.

The roadmap clearly stipulates that changes in the risk regulation will be realized only if the proposals for the reduction of measures are based on scientific research and supported by the relevant stakeholders. The project was specifically directed at this requirement:
What is the European stakeholders’ risk perception regarding topics like BSE or the sheep disease scrapie? Which strategies of risk communications have been applied in light of the perception of BSE-related risks and which recommendations can be derived for the concerned member states and the European Commission?

For that purpose, interviews were conducted with the following stakeholders: consumer protection associations, representatives of the agriculture and representatives of the meat-/food industry. Furthermore, responsible ministries have been contacted in order to gather information on the precise implementations of related measures. The studies conducted by sine for Germany and the United Kingdom were contrasted with results from Belgium, France and Italy.


SINE-Mandate |

Tasks managed by SINE included:

  • Assessing the risk perception of different stakeholders regarding BSE-related risks in Germany and the United Kingdom
  • Conducting and analysing interviews with representatives of stakeholder groups from agriculture, consumer protection, food industry and responsible ministries
  • Identification of practices of risks communication regarding the TSE-roadmap
  • Demonstrating how the encountered risk perception can be implemented in effective risk communication
  • Formulating recommendations regarding how to deal with the TSE-roadmap in public risk management (European Commission as well as national ministries)
  • Presentation of the results in the form of a report (in English)


Methods |

  • Guideline-based Expert-Interviews
  • Content analysis


Results |

The results and further information can be obtained via the project website of NeuroPrion: www.neuroprion.com

For further details please contact: Dr. Kerstin Dressel


Responsible | Dr. Kerstin Dressel