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Safety in the age of global goods flows

17/2018, 08.05.2018

Japanese Minister for Consumer Protection visits the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

No matter whether it’s cars, computers or chemical products - Japan is one of the world’s leading industrial and export nations. The age of global goods flows, however, is also posing a challenge to consumer health protection, be it through the spread of antimicrobially resistant germs, or products which do not satisfy safety standards. As Germany and Japan aim to find joint solutions here, cooperation between the two countries was the main focus of the visit of Teru Fukui, Japanese Minister for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, and his delegation to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin-Jungfernheide on 4 May 2018, where he was welcomed by BfR President, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "Both countries have achieved a lot where consumer health protection is concerned," said Minister Fukui, "but problems can often be solved more easily through cooperation". "Our goal is to improve scientific exchange in risk research and to learn from one another," replied BfR President Hensel. "In the age of globalised trade, for example, we are developing modern methods for tracing suspect foods back along the supply chain and for detecting marine biotoxins known as phycotoxins. Scientific exchange is also essential when applying new omics methods for the analysis of complex biological samples".

The Japanese delegation, which numbered roughly ten people, gathered information on-site on the main tasks of the federal institute and a visit to test laboratories was also on the agenda. In Japan, the Committee for Food Safety is tasked with duties similar to those of the BfR. Both institutions work together and want to further intensify their cooperation. To this end, two committee members came to Germany as part of the delegation.

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.

The BfR is 15 years old. To mark the occasion, the institute has published an anniversary brochure which can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.bfr.bund.de/en/publication/brochures-61045.html.

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

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