Further education and networking of risk experts from all over the world
For the sixth time now, the German German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is organising its annual BfR-Summer Academy. From 3 to 14 July 2017, 34 scientists from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America are meeting to discuss the topics of risk assessment and risk communication in the field of food safety. "Because goods flows are global, food safety has to be viewed globally too", explains BfR President Professor Dr Dr Andreas Hensel. "That is why the participants in the BfR-Summer Academy collaborate in networks to find out more about the European system of risk assessment and risk communication".
The purpose of the BfR-Summer Academy is to put the participants in a position where they can not only conduct risk assessments by themselves but also pass on this knowledge in their home countries. To this end, the fundamentals of the assessment of risks are conveyed in the first week along with an insight into German and European legal framework conditions. The participants learn how to communicate the extent and relevance of a health risk in a consumer-friendly manner. One study block is dedicated to the question of how exposure to substances is calculated and evaluated. The programme during the second week includes workshops on the assessment of plant protection product residues and contaminants.
The participants come from twenty countries, including Cabo Verde, China, Ireland, Colombia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan and Uruguay. Most of them work in state institutions which deal with the topic of food safety. The experts who are making presentations come from the BfR, the Max Rubner Institute (MRI) and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). In addition to this, contributors have been acquired from the Dutch Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) and British Royal Veterinary College of the University of London. The BfR-Summer Academy has been taking place once a year since 2012.
All over the world, most countries import and export foods and feeds in fairly large quantities. At the same time, the variety of foods is increasing constantly too, with the result that demands on the scientific assessment and communication of possible health risks are also increasing. The high European standards, as well as the regulations and knowledge regarding the quality, safety and hygiene of food are therefore of particular interest when the task at hand is to make globally traded products safer. The BfR-Summer Academy contributes towards spreading the European system of risk assessment all over the world and harmonising standards internationally.
About the BfR
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. 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.
The BfR is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the institute has published a jubilee brochure (in German) which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge at http://www.bfr.bund.de/en/publication/brochures-61045.html.
This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.