Code of Professional Conduct for Members of the Institute of Food Technologists

IFT envisions a world where science and innovation are universally accepted as essential to a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for everyone. As members guided by this vision, our mission, promises and core values, IFT members may serve as scientists, engineers, technologists, manufacturers, policy makers, teachers, marketers, and more working together to advance the science of food in order to reach this vision. In order to ensure our work continues to be mission-driven and benefit the global community, all IFT members shall:

Work to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the public and our environment.

  • employ the science of food for the benefit of society
  • ensure the safety of food and encourage its consumption as part of a healthy diet
  • consider the environmental ramifications of one's actions:  make efficient use of resources in food system; use non-renewable resources with consideration; minimize production of waste
  • provide clear and accurate information to inform citizens' food choices in the marketplace
  • attempt to understand critical perspectives about the food system
  • respect the letter and spirit of applicable food laws and regulations
  • be aware of social consequences of food technologies

Uphold professional ethics through our advocacy initiatives, mentorships, personal and public representations, and contributions to the science of food.

  • confine activities and advocacy to areas of professional competence
  • support ethical activities of professional colleagues
  • consider the effect of actions on public confidence in the profession
  • support professional development, particularly for junior colleagues
  • contribute to a working climate that encourages science-based considered judgment
  • represent professional qualifications honestly
  • treat colleagues and co-workers with respect as individuals and for their expertise
  • give deserved credit to the work of others

Serve as trusted and informed representatives of our clients and employers.

  • recognize responsibility to those who rely on us for scientific and technical advice
  • satisfy contractual conditions of employment
  • respect confidences and confidential information
  • disclose all conflicts of obligation and conflicts of interest; avoid or manage severe conflicts
  • ensure that likely consequences of others not taking professional advice are understood

Be committed to ensuring the accuracy of information and advancements that contribute to furthering the IFT vision.

  • consider potential benefits as well as potential harms of a food technology under consideration
  • be knowledgeable about the scientific basis for benefits to be claimed or possible harms
  •  seek to ensure that information for consumers goes beyond being not false and misleading, but is also true and accurate concerning both explicit and implicit claims

Maintain the highest degree of integrity in our research efforts.

  • report research results accurately and objectively, and confine conclusions to what is supported by research performed
  • cite and credit the research and writing of others, including one's own, as appropriate
  • in reviewing others' work, strive to maintain objectivity and employ only impersonal criteria
  • among scientists, value collective skepticism to avoid premature conclusions
  • strive to avoid sources of bias
  • disclose all conflicts of interest; avoid or manage severe conflicts

Support the positive advancement of IFT and the profession as a whole.

  • contribute to a deserved positive public reputation of the profession
  • support the advancement of knowledge in science and technology of food
  • support continuing professional education of one's self and members in general
  • support fellow professional members who experience negative consequences from adhering to the Code
  • support IFT, not excluding constructive criticism
  • not misrepresent the position of the professional association
  • support students and junior professionals in the field
  • avoid exploitation of professional status to promote premature, misleading, exaggerated, or poorly supported scientific opinions to the public

Approved by the IFT Board of Directors 11/16