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Food safety agencies to sign cooperation agreement

By Ahmed ElAmin , 29-Jun-2007

In a ground-breaking move to improve food safety, the European Food Safety Authority and the US Food and Drug Administration will team up to share scientific information.

The two entities will sign an agreement on 2 July in Brussels to co-ordinate their research efforts into food safety issues.

 

 

 

The signing marks further efforts by the two entities to prevent food safety issues from affecting public health and to end the duplication of research. Such co-operation will make it harder for processors to escape scrutiny if their products are found to be contaminated in one jurisdiction.

 

 

 

For example, both entities conducted separate reviews into a study by Italy-based European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF), which claimed the data indicated that aspartame is a carcinogen. Both entities ultimately rejected the conclusions of the study.

 

 

 

A media annnouncement lists the event as the first formal step to improve co-operation between the two bodies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a regulatory agency, while European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) does scientific research and risk analysis on foods and ingredients.

 

 

 

Andrew von Eschenbach, the FDA's commissioner and Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, EFSA's executive director, will meet to discuss current and future co-operation between the two agencies at the signing.