Trusted science for safe food: Lithuanian experts contribute in cooperation with EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority

To wrap up the end of 2021, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) gathered experts from different Lithuanian science, research, and risk assessment institutions in a joint event where the SFVS reviewed the experience of working with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), further possibilities for cooperation, and shared ongoing projects in the areas of food safety and risk assessment. The global Covid-19 pandemic and African Swine Fever (ASF) have also been identified as major challenges for this year.

Deimante Biknerytė, Senior Advisor to the Director of the SFVS, says: ‘It must be no surprise to say that 2021 was extraordinary, that the global pandemic changed all our agendas and taught us to work differently, adapt to virtual communication, become smarter in managing information systems, learn how to manage projects remotely. We discussed these challenges and the work of the year – our project activities with experts from Lithuanian science, research, and risk assessment institutions. We — the SFVS — in cooperation with EFSA, managed to successfully implement a large-scale information campaign on ASF. I am glad that EFSA has mobilised scientists for joint work, and I believe that their scientific insights, assessments and recommendations will help countries to protect themselves and find solutions to stop the spread of ASF in Europe, thus protecting the economy from the financial loss caused by this communicable disease.’

According to the advisor, the SFVS is EFSA’s contact point in Lithuania, whose main mission is to assist the European Agency in bringing together national scientific risk assessment organisations and to encourage them to get involved in EFSA's activities.

‘I would like to recall EFSA's motto for this year ‘Trusted science for safe food’. EFSA is an organisation that provides an independent scientific advice on food-related risks. EFSA’s remits are quite wide-ranging, including the area of food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health. EFSA’s new strategy is designed to deliver on the objectives of the Green Deal and the new Farm to Fork Strategy. At national level, we will work to bring together national scientific risk assessment organisations and also to contribute to the achievement of the set objectives’, — concludes D. Biknerytė.

Representatives of the SFVS, the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute, the Centre for Health Training and Disease Prevention, the State Plant Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Department of Plant Biology and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agronomy, Academy of Agriculture at Vytautas University took part in the remote annual meeting.