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Scientific excellence forms the basis for expert advice

13/2018, 11.04.2018

Newly appointed BfR committees begin their work

When the BfR Committee "Assessment of Intoxications" met from 9 to 10 April 2018, it was the first of a total of 14 newly appointed BfR committees to start its work. Further BfR committees will come together for their constituent meetings at the BfR in the coming months. This is already the fourth time that the committees have been re-appointed following a comprehensive application procedure. The 199 scientists on the committees advise the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in the capacity of external, independent and honorary experts. "The BfR committees play a key role in the provision of scientific advice to the BfR", says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "Our aim is to recruit the leading experts in the respective fields. I am particularly pleased with the number of applications from members of civil society." He added that it would be desirable in future to increase the number of experts from non-governmental organisations. At the beginning of last year, the BfR publicly called on all interested persons to apply for membership of the committees. The BfR committees pool the existing expertise in Germany in the fields of food safety, safety of consumer and related products, and risk communication in line with the highest possible scientific standards. This ensures that an established network of experts is always on hand to provide advice - and not only in the event of crises.

A total of four appointment procedures have been conducted (2007, 2010, 2013, 2017) since the BfR committees were first established. The BfR committee members are selected by an appointment board set up specifically for this purpose, taking into consideration the principle of equal treatment of women and men.

37% of the members appointed for the new term of the committees (2018-2021) are women, and 63% are men. They come from universities and other research establishments, authorities of the federal state and the regional "Länder", industry and consumer associations, industrial companies, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In total, 53% of the experts are from universities, 27% from authorities such as federal research establishments and regional inspection agencies, 16% from companies and industry associations, and 3% from non-governmental organisations. 92% of the committee members are German nationals. The majority of committee members possess post-graduate qualifications and many years of experience in relevant scientific fields.

The members of the individual committees are listed on the BfR website.

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. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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