Health is indivisible: Humans, animals and environment in the focus of food safety

The safety of animal-derived foods can only be ensured through interdisciplinary cooperation. This is the key message of the expert symposium "One health - wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment" organised by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in honour of Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Dieter Großklaus, the former President of the Federal Health Office. "Zoonoses are currently the greatest challenge to food safety", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "To ensure that meat, milk and eggs are safe, we must look at the whole food chain, from animal production to the consumer." Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.

The BfR expert symposium “One health - wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment” will take place in the Harnack-Haus, in Berlin-Dahlem, on 6 March 2015 from 10 am to 1 pm. At the event, measures for the control of zoonoses in primary production will be presented and the significance of food-borne zoonoses for humans discussed. The BfR is presenting strategies for detecting and reducing zoonotic pathogens in food.

The term “One health” stands for a holistic interdisciplinary approach describing the complex connections between humans, animals, the environment and health. In accordance with the principle “From farm to fork” the surveillance and control of zoonoses begins in primary production. However, the behaviour of consumers concerning choice of foods and kitchen hygiene needs to be taken into account as well. This requires close cooperation by all professionals working in the public health and veterinary sectors.

The symposium is organised on the occasion of the 85th birthday of Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Dieter Großklaus. Professor Großklaus was President of the Federal Health Office from 1985 to 1993, having worked for the institution since 1962. He studied veterinary medicine at Humboldt Universität and Freie Universität Berlin. Speakers contributing to the symposium will include Professor Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Rita Süssmuth, former President of the Bundestag, and Professor Dr. Peter-André Alt, President of Freie Universität Berlin.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific 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.


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