雖然世界各國逐漸採取風險分析為食品安全之管理方法，但在管理原則上卻存在差異，歐盟採取較嚴謹的「預防原則」（precautionary principle），大西洋對岸之美國與加拿大則是採取「科學證據原則」（principle of science evidence），此種差異造成歐盟與美加在對外貿易上發生許多爭端；另一方面，歐盟也面臨風險溝通之內部挑戰，在面對現代科技所帶來的食品安全風險時，如何取得公眾的信賴，維持「客觀風險」與「專家治理」間的平衡，成為歐盟食品安全管理之重要課題。 The German sociologist Ulrich Beck suggested that the development of modern technologies contain numerous scientific uncertainties that may bring many new risks to human societies. These risks have a characteristic of “reflexivity”. In the past, modernization was viewed as a revolution of the old society, and is therefore called “simple modernization”. Current human societies are filled with risks. The modern “risk society” is undergoing a form of “reflexive modernization”, its origins is based on the side effects of human industrial and technological developments. Reflexive modernization can be seen as a “self-confrontation ” with the effects of“risk society”.
Food is the basic element that human depends on for survival. Food safety not only concerns the safety of human health and lives, it also affects social and national stability and development. The modern world with its advanced technologies is improving upon the environments for the production of foods and beverages. The variety and processing methods of food is unprecedented and increasingly complex. With the globalization of economy and improvements of the food industry, international food trade is rapidly developing. However, these developments also bring more risk to people in terms of food safety. Hence, governments around the world are placing significant importance on relevant risk management measures for food trade and food safety.
The American National Research Council (NRC) first recommended a set of Risk Analysis infrastructure in 1980. The Risk Analysis system involved three steps, namely “risk assessment”, “risk management” and “risk communication”. These steps were eventually adapted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union (EU), and can be seen as an international standard for food safety management systems.
Although governments worldwide have gradually adopted risk analysis systems as a means of managing food safety, differences in management principles still exist. The EU adopted a stricter “precautionary principle”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US and Canada adopt the “principle of scientific evidence”. Such differences have led to many disputes on foreign trade between the EU and US and Canada. At the same time, the EU also faces the internal challenge of risk communication. When faced with increased risks in food safety brought about by modern technologies, they must find out means to maintain public trust while maintaining the balance between “objective risk” and “expert systems”. These are important topics of food safety management in the EU.