EFSA participates in WHO conference on environment and health

10 March 2010

EFSA’s Executive Director, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, underlined the importance of EFSA’s engagement with partner organisations and stakeholders at the World Health Organisation’s Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, which took place in Parma from 10 to 12 March 2010.

In a keynote speech on stakeholder engagement, the Executive Director explained that EFSA relies on 1,500 experts from some 350 scientific institutions across Europe to fulfil its mandate. She stressed that EFSA works closely with national food safety agencies, other parts of the EU and international counterparts in order to ensure a coordinated response to food safety alerts, as well as engaging in regular dialogue with its Stakeholder Consultative Platform and participating in a wide range of other activities with stakeholders.

A joint EFSA/WHO side event was held at the conference, focusing on the theme of seafood safety. The event – which involved representatives of the European Commission and the Italian authorities, as well as scientific experts from several national food safety bodies – looked at food safety risks posed by persistent organic pollutants, methyl mercury and marine biotoxins. The comparative risks and benefits to health from eating contaminated seafood were also discussed.