Evira becomes a Focal Point

25.4.2008

<div>Cooperation between Evira and the European Food Safety Authority EFSA was further tightened in December 2007 when the organisations signed a Focal Point Cooperation Agreement. The acitive work is going to start and become more visible also in Finland in April 2008.</div>

The purpose of the Focal Point is to reinforce cooperation between the member states and EFSA, to develop the national network and to promote exchange of scientific data. The Focal Point also supports the work of EFSA's Advisory Forum. On a general level Focal Point activity is focused on food safety, animal and plant health, animal wellfare as well as on implementing and promoting scientific cooperation in the field of nutrition.

One of the key tasks of Focal Point is to set up a national network of experts to ensure that Finnish expertise is represented in the scientific panels and working groups of EFSA. The collection of risk assessment and risk profile results from Finland and deliver it to EFSA is another important objective of the network.

The purpose of Focal Point is also to provide information received from EFSA to the experts working in various fields as well as to the consumers.

Several pieces of information related to EFSA have been published on Evira's web site during the spring. This is a visible example of the more active cooperation between EFSA and Finland. The purpose of publishing in web is to dissemimnate information about EFSA's opinions and recommendations, and to invite the general public to express their own views on draft opinions. In many cases the news have also been important and the statement significant from the Finnish point of view.

Ms. Jaana Husu-Kallio, Director General of Evira, acts as the official Focal Point contact person for Finland, and also has a seat in the Advisory Forum. Ms. Kirsi Savela, Head of Risk assessment Unit, is her alternate. A Focal Point team has been set up at Evira's Risk Assessment Unit to provide assistance to them and carry out the other tasks.

Ms. Kirsi-Maarit Siekkinen, who is a research scientist at Evira, is in charge of starting and coordinating the Focal Point in practice.

More information on EFSA:
http://www.efsa.europa.eu

More information on the Focal Point network:
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/PartnersNetworks/efsa_locale-1178620753812_National_Focal_Points.htm

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Kirsti Savela, Unit Manager, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24020, +358 (0) 50 439 5220 
Ms. Kirsi- Maarit Siekkinen, Researcher, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24030

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