Review of quantitative assessment of risk reduction options applied in the EFSA outputs on biological hazards, in support of a guidance document of the EFSA Panel on Plant Health

Biological hazards, effectiveness, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, review, risk reduction
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
13 June 2012
13 February 2012
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


The EFSA Opinions of the Panels AHAW, BIOHAZ, CONTAM, GMO and PLH (from the beginning until May 2011) were examined, focusing on whether quantitative methods were used in evaluating the effectiveness of any such risk reduction options. In case quantitative methods were used, further attention was paid to various issues highlighted by the PLH Panel in its ‘Guidance on the evaluation of pest risk assessments and risk management options.’ On the whole and for each examined Panel, EFSA Opinions on Biological Hazards using quantitative methods to evaluate the effectiveness of risk reduction options are a minority of the examined Opinions. When combining the data for all panels, there is a temporal trend towards increased use of quantitative methods to assess the effectiveness of risk reduction options. A diversity of methods was used by the Panels to examine quantitatively the effectiveness of risk reduction options (e.g., scenarios, models, quantitative scoring, survival analysis). Only a minority of the Opinions using quantitative methods to evaluate the effectiveness of risk reduction options provided information on the level of risk reduction, the presence of alternative measures in case a similar level of risk reduction was likely for different options, a demonstration of the added effect of the single options, the technical feasibility, and the level of uncertainty.

plh [at]
Question Number
On request from