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See detailEnvironmental risk assessment for food-related substances
Smith, M. R.; König, Ariane UL

in Food Control (2010), 21(12), 1588-1600

This report analyses various environmental risk assessment practices that are currently in place for food-related substances in both the EU and the USA. Within the EU, REACH requires the systematic review ... [more ▼]

This report analyses various environmental risk assessment practices that are currently in place for food-related substances in both the EU and the USA. Within the EU, REACH requires the systematic review of the toxicity of chemicals, with varying degrees of extensiveness of testing required based on the quantities of the chemicals used in practice. Genetically modified organisms are another example of how the environmental impacts of food-producing crops are assessed. The requirements for the use of substances in organic agriculture imply that these should also be assessed for environmental impact. In the USA, the FDA requires environmental assessments for food substance requiring this agency’s action. The EPA has elaborated guidelines for ecological risk assessment that show parallels with the food safety assessment, including the stages of problem formulation, analysis (assessment), and risk characterisation. Also the stakeholder involvement and risk management play an important role in the procedures envisaged by these guidelines. The utility of integrated assessments has been further stressed by WHO/IPCS. It is considered that the new integrated risk-analysis approach recommended by SAFE FOODS can benefit from the integration of environmental issues, including their assessment in the risk–benefit stage of the risk analysis cycle. [less ▲]

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See detailCompatibility of the SAFE FOODS Risk Analysis Framework with the legal and institutional settings of the EU and the WTO
König, Ariane UL

in Food Control (2010), 21(12), 1638-1652

This paper analyses the compatibility of the SAFE FOODS recommendations with the food safety governance systems of the EU and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in which standard setting procedures of ... [more ▼]

This paper analyses the compatibility of the SAFE FOODS recommendations with the food safety governance systems of the EU and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in which standard setting procedures of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) are considered most relevant. The objective is to better understand the implications from (1) the addition of formalised framing and evaluation stages to the risk analysis process and (2) the expansion of the scope of the risk assessment to comprise the distribution of risks, benefits and costs of regulatory measures. The paper concludes that these recommendations of the SAFE FOODS project are compatible to EU law provided they are fine-tuned to legal provisions on specific roles for agencies, EU Member States and the European Commission services. All recommendations are deemed largely compatible with the rules for procedure of the CAC. [less ▲]

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See detailEconomic assessment of food safety standards: Costs and benefits of alternative approaches
Traill, W. B.; König, Ariane UL

in Food Control (2010), 21(12), 1611-1619

This article provides an overview of economic methods to measure costs and benefits related to food safety issues. After an introduction on general economic principles, including the distinction between ... [more ▼]

This article provides an overview of economic methods to measure costs and benefits related to food safety issues. After an introduction on general economic principles, including the distinction between social and private costs and benefits, the article highlights the various methods for calculation of costs and benefits, including "willingness to pay", amongst others. Particular attention is paid to the "quality-adjusted life years" (QALY) method for quantitatively expressing health impacts. The practice of Regulatory Impact Assessments as carried out by the UK authorities is explored in more detail as an example of cost-benefit analysis of regulatory measures. The applicability of the approaches to the various stages of the SAFE FOODS model is highlighted. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailThe SAFE FOODS framework for improved risk analysis of foods.
König, Ariane UL; Kuiper, H. A.; Marvin, H. J. P. et al

in Food Control (2010), 21(12), 1566-1587

The SAFEFOODS framework proposes an integrated five-step procedure for the risk analysis. The five steps are: framing, risk assessment, evaluation, risk management, and review. The framework is designed ... [more ▼]

The SAFEFOODS framework proposes an integrated five-step procedure for the risk analysis. The five steps are: framing, risk assessment, evaluation, risk management, and review. The framework is designed to address both risks and benefits. The SAFEFOODS approach introduces a 20-member Interface Committee, headed by a risk manager, to run the procedure. First third of the members is risk managers, second third is independent scientific experts and the last third is stakeholders with economic interests and with consumer interests. The role of the different steps in the procedure and the role of each category of Committee Members during the process are described. The proposal suggests a strict separation of responsibilities between managerial members on one side and scientific members and stakeholder members on the other side. This division of responsibilities in the committee opens up new possibilities for transparency, openness and participation without violation of the delegation-of-power rule. For the communication with the interested parties and the public at large during the process it is foreseen to create an Internet Forum, and use press conferences, press releases and interviews. Overall the SAFEFOODS proposal shall be seen as an invitation for rethinking the current risk assessment/risk management system in EU. [less ▲]

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