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Public Health (18-11-2009)

EU Risk Assessment Scientists meet in Brussels to co-ordinate their approach

Today and tomorrow, the Chairs of the EU Scientific Committees and Panels involved in risk assessment will meet in Brussels for their fifth annual meeting. This year's meeting is organised by the European Commission's Health and Consumers Directorate General and will focus on exploring two new subjects: synthetic biology and the next generations of nanotechnologies. Participants will discuss the implications for risk assessment emerging from these areas and will also try to identify possible collaborations in monitoring and assessment activities.
In addition, in depth discussions will cover the areas of emerging risks, evaluating uncertainty, weighing evidence and using proper risk assessment terminology and exposure assessment. Finally, a special session will review the perspectives of current activities in alternative methods in animal testing, as well as new approaches in computational toxicology and toxicogenomics.
In order to ensure the health and safety of all citizens residing in its territory, the EU has established specialised agencies for carrying out risk assessment in a number of areas, ranging from food, to pharmaceuticals and communicable diseases. In addition, in areas concerning consumer safety, emerging risks or environment and health, the European Commission has created specialised committees of independent scientific experts.
Each year, the Chairs of these scientific committees and panels meet in order to share experiences and best practice on risk assessment, as well as to review activities of common interest. The aim of this annual exercise is to improve coordination and to identify possible collaborations in areas of common interest. This way, the quality of the risk assessments is enhanced and therefore better supports the risk management decisions.
More information about the EU structure on risk assessment can be found here: