Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has warned the public on the dangers surrounding food rumors, especially that circulating on social media for their great impact on the society's safety and the national economy.
ADAFSA urged the public to avoid circulating such rumors, and to contact the authority for verifying any information of relevancy to food safety, to minimize rumors' negative impacts on society.
ADAFSA noted that some rumors intended to harm some products and brands for competitive reasons. Due to misunderstanding of circulated food information without knowing its source, or by publishing old news as new information, some rumors are shared among the public.
Furthermore, ADAFSA clarified that food-safety rumors have a great impact on consumers like changing consumer nutritional habits due to misunderstanding and making nutrition-related decisions based on false information and not scientific grounds, which negatively affects the handled food's safety.
On the other hand, traders use rumors to spread fake information about their competitors' products, which contributes significantly to causing severe damage to manufacturing and supply facilities, thereby harming the national economy.
ADAFSA therefore affirmed it carries out several programs aim at raising consumers' awareness of food-related issues. Through its programs, ADAFSA strives to address and respond to those rumors based on scientific basis, by analyzing their risks. Moreover, the circulated information is studied and analyzed by ADAFSA.
Throughout the year, ADAFSA continues its activities to raise the public awareness about rumor risks and the need to avoid circulating them, urging consumers to contact it to validate the circulated food information.
In addition to monitoring food-related rumors and addressing them proactively to reduce their impact, ADAFSA also provides various contact channels for consumers to inquire about food-safety information. ADAFSA has official accounts on social media, through which it receives hundreds of inquiries annually, including inquiries about food rumors.
ADAFSA urged the public to avoid circulating any anonymous information about food safety. Instead, consumers have to contact the authority directly on the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Center's toll-free number (800555), for taking the necessary action regarding their report.