EFSA promotes global approach to food safety on China visit

Global challenges require global solutions. This is the message that EFSA conveyed during a visit to China earlier this month. As part of the one-week programme, EFSA participated in a series of events and meetings with its Chinese, EU and international partners, promoting the need for global harmonisation of food safety risk assessment and risk communication.

At the 11th China International Food Safety & Quality Conference, which took place in Beijing on 1-2 November, EFSA’s Executive Director, Bernhard Url, set the tone. He called for a global approach to food safety in an increasingly complex environment characterised by new risks, declining societal trust and shrinking public budgets.

In his keynote speech, which was well received by the nearly 700 international participants, Dr Url said: “Global challenges require global solutions. To address the challenges and opportunities faced by food safety regulators all around the world, we need to connect, collaborate and co-design common solutions.”

Harmonising risk assessment and communication

Dr Url’s message was taken up in a seminar on the “Global harmonisation of principles and methods for risk assessment of chemicals in food”, jointly organised by EFSA, the China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA), the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

An important milestone towards more global harmonisation was reached with the launch of two new international liaison groups, on methods for risk assessment of chemicals in food and on risk communication

A workshop on “Global strategic risk communication for food safety”, jointly organised by EFSA, Peking University and CFSA, completed the programme. It brought together international practitioners in the field of communication with Chinese academics to exchange and discuss views.

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