Scientific competence at the service of consumer health protection

The main task of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which begins its work in Berlin today, is to protect consumers against health risks. In conjunction with the restructuring of consumer health protection, the Institute was established with the goal of clearly separating risk assessment and risk communication from risk management. The Institute comes under the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture. With its 500-strong workforce, BfR will analyse risks on the basis of internationally recognised assessment criteria in the fields of consumer health protection and food safety. Furthermore, it will elaborate action options for risk management and render this process transparent and comprehensible to everyone involved within the framework of risk communication. Assessment results will, in principle, be made publicly accessible whilst maintaining the confidentiality of protected data.

The tasks of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment include providing scientific advice to the federal ministries and the Federal Agency for Consumer Protection and Food Safety. On the international level, the focus will be on cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority. Moreover, BfR will be engaged in scientific cooperation with many other international institutions and organisations.

BfR will do its own research on subjects which are closely linked to its assessment tasks in consumer health protection and food safety. This work is necessary in order to retain and promote the scientific expertise behind its internationally recognised competence and expertise in risk assessment which is independent of economic interests. By undertaking its own research, the Institute will be in a position to respond rapidly on topical issues.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment will shape its work in a transparent manner and enter into an active dialogue with consumers. It will inform the general public as soon as possible about potential health risks, findings and work results. More detailed information on BfR can be accessed on its homepage on

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