Second BfR Summer School on the topic of food safety
Today sees the start of the second BfR Summer School on Risk Assessment and Risk Communication in Food Safety staged by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin-Dahlem. From 12 to 23 August 2013, 33 scientists from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe will be discussing risk assessment and risk communication in the field of food safety. "In view of the worldwide flows of goods, we also need to view the issue of food safety from a global perspective", explains BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "Participants at the BfR Summer School can work and network with each other and learn more about the European system of risk assessment and risk communication".
The idea of the BfR Summer School is to enable participants not only to conduct risk assessments themselves but also to pass on the required knowledge in their home country. The first week is devoted to the basics of risk assessment and insights into the German and European framework conditions. Participants learn to communicate the extent and relevance of a risk in a consumer-friendly manner - with the help of a "Risk Profile", for example. One theme block is devoted to toxicological characterisation, an activity that is central to the assessment of chemicals. Week two will include workshops on the assessment of residues, contaminants and microbiological agents.
The participants come from twelve countries, including China, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. Most of them work for government institutions whose remit is food safety. The events are moderated by experts from the BfR, the Max Rubner Institute (MRI), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Hamburg-based Authority for Health and Consumer Protection (BGV). It was also possible to book speakers from the Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) in the Netherlands and Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) in Denmark.
Most countries worldwide import and export high volumes of food and feed. At the same time, the variety of foods is constantly increasing, and this also makes increasing demands on the scientific assessment and communication of potential risks. The high European standards, our regulations and our knowledge in the areas of food quality, safety and hygiene are therefore of particular interest when it comes to making globally traded products safer. The BfR Summer School is designed to make the authorities worldwide more aware of the European system of risk assessment and to harmonise the standards in this area.
The BfR Summer School took place for the first time in 2012 and is to become an annual event. The Summer School extends the work of the BfR in the further training and development of risk assessment and risk communication experts on international level.
About the BfR
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.