Cooperation in the field of food safety is being further intensified in Europe

To mark the occasion of the 61st EFSA Advisory Forum in the last week of September in Bratislava, all Advisory Forum members of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) signed a Declaration of Commitment. The ratification of this declaration sends out a strong signal for further intensive cooperation and networking of the food safety authorities of the Member States with EFSA and among themselves. By organising this year's eighth German EFSA Focal Point meeting, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has made a valuable contribution to this undertaking. "The evaluation of our work shows how great the significance of EFSA is for the German institutions in question and how important it is to be able to rely on a functional, established network in times of crisis," says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. To guarantee the exchange of information in a federal system, the BfR is also in contact with the competent authorities of the federal states ("Laender") responsible for monitoring measures in consumer protection. A further goal is to embed more specialised German knowledge on a European level.

Measures to strengthen cooperation at a national and international level and further intensify the interactions of German institutions with EFSA were discussed during an interactive workshop at the BfR. The EFSA Focal Point at the BfR will take the lead in implementing these measures in 2017.

A new EFSA instrument to ensure scientific excellence in risk assessment and promote up-and-coming scientific talent is the EU-FORA Fellowship Programme (The EUropean FOod Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme). The BfR supports this project and is a member of the programme committee. A work group was also formed at the EFSA advisory forum at the initiative of the BfR to build up international capacity in risk assessment.

The BfR regularly invites members of the EFSA scientific networks to the annual EFSA Focal Point meetings so that they can present their work and for the strengthening of the cooperation with the networks. The food ingredients and packaging network was introduced this time. European expertise in this field is consolidated here in order to identify and minimise potential food safety risks that can be posed by materials that come in contact with foods.

About the EFSA Focal Point at the BfR

The EFSA Focal Points in the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway constitute a key instrument for a comprehensive and continuous exchange of knowledge and data on the health risks that can be posed by foods and feeds. The German EFSA Focal Point is located at the BfR from where all of the institutions and authorities involved in food and feed safety, nutrition as well as animal and plant health, in Germany are linked together.

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.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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