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EU consumers worry about chemicals and hormones in food

Chemical contamination tops European consumer fears over food related risks, closely followed by antibiotic and hormones in meat, animal cloning and pollutants, according to

The website’s report quoted a new survey commissioned by the region’s top food safety watchdog.

Consumers rate food contaminated with bacteria such as Listeria and salmonella as their fifth highest concern. The item was rated as ‘very worrying’ by less than a quarter of the 26,691 respondents that took part in the research carried out by Eurobarometer and published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Almost two thirds of Europe’s citizens said they had confidence in information from EFSA and national food safety bodies.

 Some 31% of consumers expressed fears over the presence in food of chemicals like pesticides.  30 % said they were concerned about both antibiotics and hormones in meat and animal cloning.  Pollutants such as dioxins and mercury troubled 29 % of respondents, while bacterial contamination was cited by 23 % of people.

Only 15 % were worried about possible nutritional risks like putting on weight or not having a healthy/balanced diet.

Almost half of respondents said they ignored food-related stories that appeared in the media or on the internet – with a greater tendency to disregard information on diet and health issues (29 %) than on food safety risks (24 %). For full story go to