Executive Director of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Dr Bernhard Url visited Malta in order to continue strengthening the collaboration between EFSA and Malta in issues related to food safety. Dr Url met the Food Safety Commission (FSC) members with whom he held discussions on how EFSA and Malta can further work together to ensure food safety and to increase scientific cooperation opportunities. The meeting was held at the Ministry for Health where all the entities represented on the FSC and which are involved in food safety were present.

Chair of the FSC Dr Charmaine Gauci welcomed Dr Url and explained that ‘Food safety is a priority area whereby the FSC is responsible for monitoring, coordinating and keeping under review the practices, operations, and activities relating to food. The commission welcomes the support offered by EFSA to continue to enhance food safety in Malta.’

Dr Url said, ‘I’m pleased to visit Malta and its Food Safety Commission on the occasion of its chairing the first semester of the EU Presidency for 2017. Cooperation with the national agencies and the governments of EU MS is, without any doubt, a key tool and a top priority in EFSA’s work programme for 2020. Together with Member States, EFSA is developing a common EU Risk Assessment Agenda to improve the use of EU-wide capacities and increase efficiency by forming partnerships across the Union. This collaboration creates concrete value for EU citizens by ensuring the safety of the food they eat’.

In conjunction with the Executive Director’s visit and as part of the activities planned during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, Malta will be hosting the 63rd meeting of the EFSA Advisory Forum on the 7th and 8th of March. The Advisory Forum is a platform which enables EFSA and Member States to join forces and addresses European risk assessment and risk communication issues. The forum also advises EFSA on scientific matters and work priorities, and collaborates towards the early identification of any emerging risks. Representatives of the food risk assessment authorities from the 28 Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the EU Candidate Countries will be attending the meeting in Malta to discuss various topics related to food safety, including exchange of scientific data, coordination of risk assessment activities so as to avoid duplication of work, and addressing any contentious issues.

Source: Government of Malta