EFSA and national food safety authorities agree on closer scientific cooperation

October 6, 2006

Brussels, 05 Oct 2006

Representatives from national food safety authorities have signed a 'Declaration of Intent' with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), pledging to strengthen scientific cooperation and information exchange on risk assessment. The signatories from national bodies, which make up the EFSA's Advisory Forum, say they will 'continue to build on the scientific networks and collaboration achieved thus far, utilising all available legal, administrative and financial tools to reinforce cooperation in risk assessment across the EU.'

Under the agreement, EFSA will work with national bodies and its scientific committee to develop a strategy and roadmap for scientific cooperation for adoption by the Advisory Forum by the end of 2006.

The declaration is based on recommendations made by a working group of representatives from national authorities set up in 2005 to provide input on the work of EFSA's scientific committee, panels and other expert groups..

Welcoming the initiative, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of EFSA, said that the new declaration was in keeping with the EFSA's founding objective of achieving greater coherence in risk assessment in the EU. 'EFSA aims to deliver the best science at the right time and in the most appropriate manner. This can only be achieved through effective pooling and leverage at European level of our collective resources and expertise in risk assessment and risk communications.'

The agreement is expected to ensure, among other things, the appropriate allocation of resources to priorities; better coordination of work programmes, thereby avoiding duplication of activities; early identification and analysis of emerging risks; and finally, increased coherence in scientific risk assessment and communications.

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