EFSA Scientific Colloquium N°15: Emerging Risks

12 October 2010

EFSA scientists organised a colloquium on emerging risks on 12-13 October bringing together a broad range of specialists from different fields of expertise, reflecting the complexity of this area of EFSA’s work. During the 2-day colloquium, participants discussed the Authority’s methodological framework for the identification of emerging risks related to the food supply chain.

The colloquium was attended by over 100 experts coming from 29 countries, including many pre-accession and potential candidate countries as well as the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Among other topics, participants discussed: methods to identify emerging risks; sources of information and strategies for data collection; identification of drivers of change as underlying causes of emerging risks; EFSA’s ability to engage with a broad range of experts from a wide variety of fields, stressing the importance of international collaboration; and potential challenges regarding communication on emerging risks in particular the need to ensure transparency in EFSA’s work in this area without causing undue concern and the need for close coordination with risk managers.

Participants recognised the work that has been achieved to date and indicated that the on-going methodological developments are on the right track. Although there was general agreement that EFSA was the logical body to coordinate this area of scientific work, participants insisted that access to a broad spectrum of experts would be a critical success factor for the Authority’s future work in this area. From EFSA’s perspective, the colloquium provided valuable input for the future development of its work on emerging risks which will be discussed in different scientific fora and further developed in collaboration with risk assessors and managers.