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Statutory foundations of BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment was established as a federal agency with legal capacity within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Its tasks result, amongst other things, from the Act establishing the BfR which was enacted in conjunction with the restructuring of consumer health protection and food safety in Germany. Furthermore, the legislator has anchored the work of the Institute in more than ten other acts, for instance the Plant Protection Act, the Genetic Engineering Act, the Food and Feed Code and the Chemicals Act.

The central task of BfR is the scientific risk assessment of food, feed, substances and products as the basis for the consumer health protection activities of the federal government. The Institute does not have any monitoring duties. However, it is involved in a number of reporting and authorisation procedures.

Scientific independence

To ensure that it can carry out its assessments without being influenced by political, economic or social interests, the Institute is independent by virtue of the Act establishing BfR.

Main work areas

The main work areas of BfR are:

  • the health assessment of the biological and material-chemical safety of foods;
  • the health assessment of the safety of substances (chemicals, pesticides, biocides) and selected products (consumer products e.g. textiles, food packaging, cosmetics and tobacco products);
  • the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms in food, feed, plants and animals;
  • risk communication;
  • the development and validation of alternatives to animal experiments;
  • the development of methods and validation activities of the National Reference Laboratories.

The statutory foundations for the work of BfR can be downloaded from "Documents".


Other documents

Date Title Size

Last updated: September 2013
Legal basis for the work of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) 87.1 KB


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