Improved coordination and harmonization of national food safety control services, a joint WHO/EURO-FSAI meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 19 - 20 June 2001
Abstract (from document)
The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the coordination at national level of food safety control by independent science-based consumer protection agencies, and to compare them with existing alternatives. The delegates comprised representatives of food control institutions in over 30 countries, including European Union (EU) accession countries, and senior staff of food control agencies in the EU that had reorganized their food safety control systems under the umbrella of a single food authority.
Growing concerns about food safety had led many countries to review the effectiveness of their food control systems. Presentations from ten countries worldwide illustrated different approaches to the establishment of such systems, and addressed a wide range of issues relative to food agencies. Areas where there were marked differences in approach included the division of responsibilities for risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. There were diverse opinions as to whether the responsibility for enforcing food law should be with local or central authorities or a mixture of the two. The importance was stressed of multidisciplinary teams and the best available scientific advice, and a transparent and open approach to decision-making. There was general agreement that there was no single model for a food control agency; the type of agency needed to fit the cultural, economic and political conditions of each country.