Guest Column | June 23, 2015

Altering Food Or Packaging To Reduce Risks Has Its Own Dangers

Jennifer McEntire is the GMA VP of science operations

By Jennifer McEntire, guest blogger

Activists are renewing their attacks on components of canned products and also are seeking to ban a list of flavors found in food. These efforts remind me of infomercials urging viewers to take a chance on a product with a “30-day, no-risk, money-back guarantee.” Is anything ever “no-risk?” The answer is no.

However, American society has been swayed into thinking that risk is a black-and-white issue: You either have risk, or you don’t. People think that risk is bad, so we should go with the “no-risk” option, right?

Unfortunately the expectation that we have “no-risk” options has left consumers with the inability to fathom and actually evaluate relative risk, weigh scientific evidence, and make sound decisions.

Fear Of Risks Can Make You A Prisoner

We have options, and some of those options carry higher risk than others. Every day that we leave our homes we expose ourselves to risk: risks of being in a car accident, struck by lightning, etc. The alternative of remaining prisoners in our homes is not an attractive option, so we take the risk of going outside.

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