On November 29-30 the FGBI “Russian State Center for Animal Feed and Drug Standardization and Quality” subordinate to the Rosselkhoznadzor, Moscow hosted a research and practice seminar entitled “Experience of risk assessment during state controls and organizing veterinary laboratory testing”. The participants to the seminar listened to talks given by guest experts from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) which is one of the best scientific centres for food and feed safety, plant protection, animal and human health protection in the world.
Two staff members of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment came to Moscow to hold the seminar: Professor Thomas Selhorst and Head of Epidemiology, Statistics and Mathematical Modelling Unit Dr Christine Müller-Graf. The seminar was opened with a welcoming speech by FGBI “VGNKI” Director Leonid Kish. The Director expanded on the VGNKI activities in ensuring Russia’s food and epidemiological security and noted that the Centre was willing to adopt practices of other countries for the benefit of its structural divisions. Leonid Kish also pointed out that veterinary activities united people since animal diseases had no borders and economic losses from wrong prediction of infections and food and feed contaminants spread amounted to billions.
“The experience will allow us to face threats that await us in future”, said the FGBI “VGNKI” Director.
Following the welcoming speech delivered by Leonid Kish, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment specialists proceeded to legal and institutional basis of food safety in Germany and the EU as well as to mathematical modelling methods and statistical programmes used for risk assessment.
Head of Epidemiology, Statistics and Mathematical Modelling Unit Dr Christine Müller-Graf showed a presentation on the history of the Institute and its three main activities: risk assessment for chemical, food and microbiological safety. In the field of chemical safety the Institute conducts risk assessment of plant protection products, beauty products and other products of chemical industry. In the field of food and microbiological safety the Institute’s staff carries out tests to assess risks related to transfer of animal and human disease agents and food and feed contaminants.
Dr Müller-Graf underlined the importance of a quantitative risk evaluation in the globalised world of today. In her presentation the expert described the principal requirements to mathematical models upon which the quantitative risk evaluation was founded. These requirements include statistical and scientific substantiation and open data used in the model. Besides, Dr Christine Müller-Graf explained to the participants the significance of communication between researchers and the public. According to the expert, German and EU citizens are becoming more involved in food safety, that is why BfR pays a special attention to publishing press releases and other information materials presenting easily understandable results of the latest research.
The FGBI “VGNKI” seminar was attended by twenty two participants, among them: officers of the Rosselkhoznadzor Territorial administrations and Reference laboratories of different Russian regions, officers of Moscow region Veterinary service and staff of other research centres. Head of Department for material acceptance and control of governmental works implementation of the FGBI “Belgorod IVL” Irina Beketova noted that the seminar would allow her staff to adopt new methods of risk assessment for exported Russian products and reach a higher level to fulfil state tasks for exports of national agricultural products.
The speakers from the FGBI “VGNKI” and FGBI “ARRIAH” also gave talks at the seminar. The Russian experts focused on risk assessment during control of infectious animal diseases and methodical support of the national monitoring programme for illegal and harmful substances in food. At the end of the seminar the participants were given individual certificates.
In future the FGBI “VGNKI” Department “Scientific and methodical reference centre” envisages holding more research and practice seminars with the participation of foreign specialists from the world leading centres for veterinary science and food safety.