A separation of risk assessment and risk handling to combine the best of two worlds
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) relies on buying highly qualified scientific advice from independent sources – The Technical University of Denmark (DTU), among others. It is scientists from here who present their independent professional risk assessments to the DVFA, from arsenic in rice cakes and salmonella in eggs to MRSA in pigs.
Based on the risk assessment from the scientists, the DVFA will draw up proposals for resolutions of the political system, based on what is practically and economically feasible to prioritize and not least to handle.
In other words, the scientific risk assessment (that of the scientists) at the universities is independent from the responsibility of the practical risk handling, which is done by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark, including The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
The separation helps to ensure that the two significantly different tasks are solved where the expertise is present. Thus, the scientists can do their work, so that the authorities are ensured advice on a highly based scientific level.
This principle has also been used in connection with the risk assessment and risk handling of the longstanding – and internationally recognized- Danish efforts on reducing the use of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance and MRSA.