ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2014

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Social Sciences Research Supporting Food Regulation in Australia New Zealand

Michelle Gosse

Building: Holme Building
Room: Cullen Room
Date: 2014-12-09 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Last modified: 2014-10-31


Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is a bi-national government agency. We develop and administer the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), which lists requirements for foods such as additives, food safety, labelling and GM foods. Within FSANZ, one section addresses the social science (including economics) impacts of changes to the Code. FSANZ does not undertake pilots of proposed changes to estimate impact, and so the consequences of changes must be identified by other means. This presentation will cover three case studies on how social science is used to estimate consumer attitudes and behaviour towards food products, ahead of suggested changes to the Code. The first case study, a literature review, will show how already-published information – typically observational studies and surveys – can be used to inform decisions. The second case study is an example of how a government agency can conduct an experiment to provide specific information when the findings from other studies are mixed. The third case study is a survey to determine whether a regulation problem exists. The presentation will briefly outline the risk assessment method used by FSANZ, and demonstrate how social science information is embedded in the risk assessment process. This includes an illustration of how the social science findings are incorporated into documents presented to the FSANZ Board. All reports discussed in this presentation are publicly available, and website links will be provided in the presentation.