Nieuws - 6 april 2005

Food authority

According to a new Preferred Partners Agreement, the Dutch Food Safety Authority (VWA) will address food safety questions to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Wageningen institutes Rikilt, and CIDC. The institutes hope that this preference-stating will make it easier for them to keep their expertise up to standard. Employees of Rikilt and RIVM are obliged to pass on all questions from the VWA to the ‘front office’, a telephone service that directs callers to the most suitable researchers within the two institutes. So far the front office has received seven questions this year. The agreement is a step in the process of the two institutes increasing cooperation. From now on they will only issue joint advice. The institutes would like to see more, similar joint agreements, for example with the ministries of health and agriculture. / WK