News Release

World Health Organization and German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment agree on long-term cooperation

Business Announcement

BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) have agreed to collaborate for an initial period of ten years. The cooperation will focus on food safety, global networking for risk assessment, innovative risk assessments to address challenges in food safety and nutrition, risk communication, capacity building and sustainability in the food chain. The cooperation agreement will be signed today, 26 March 2024, at the BfR headquarters in Berlin-Marienfelde by BfR President Professor Andreas Hensel. Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the WHO Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, and his Head of Unit for Standards and Scientific Advice for Food and Nutrition, Dr Moez Sanaa, will be present. "The collaboration with the WHO is a significant milestone for the BfR," comments Hensel. "The WHO with its 194 member states is a strong partner for a common goal: safe food in an era of global commodity flows." "There is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to understand and respond to food system challenges and improve food safety and nutrition," explains Francesco Branca. "The BfR's experience and capabilities will improve and expand the WHO's actions."

The cooperation partners intend to use innovative risk assessment methods to address current and future challenges to food safety and nutrition. For example, they aim to develop a risk-benefit assessment that integrates nutrition, safety and sustainability. Global training programmes for highly qualified risk assessors are also planned. Another topic is capacity building for risk assessment and recommendations on food safety and nutrition in low- and middle-income countries. Global networks for risk assessment are also to be promoted. Joint events and projects are planned to achieve these goals. These include an annual high-level meeting of both institutions.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. The BfR advises the Federal Government and the States (‘Laender’) on questions of food, chemicals and product safety. The BfR conducts independent research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

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