German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) expands cooperation with Africa
At the beginning of May, Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Schillinger, Assistant Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, visited the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin. The two institutes signed a cooperation agreement back in November of last year. The ILRI has been investigating diseases of livestock in developing countries for more than 20 years and develops diagnostic products and vaccines designed to boost the productivity of livestock species and maintain their genetic diversity. At the focus of the work of the ILRI are further the improvement of food safety and antimicrobial resistance.
The ILRI performs scientific research of a high international standard. The financing structure of the institute is free of vested economic interests, with funding coming from entities such as Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). "The EU is the world's second largest importer of food", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "Promoting the production of safe food in the countries of origin therefore not only benefits people in Africa but also and directly people in Europe."
This approach is reflected in many jointly discussed topics, such as antimicrobial resistance, the authenticity of feed and food, the identification of food-associated bacteria, parasites and viruses, and the typing of pathogens with the help of genome sequencing as well as risk and crisis communication. The initial focal points of the future cooperation agreed by the BfR and the ILRI are mycotoxins in food and feed and milk. Scientists from the BfR will, for example, advise the ILRI on site about the creation of laboratory analysis capacities for the detection and identification of zoonotic disease pathogens in milk. The aim is to help to put safe food on the market worldwide.
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.