European Food Safety Authority – Maltese Focal Point
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has initiated Focal Points in the Member States to act as an interface between EFSA and the different national food safety authorities, research institutes, consumers and other EFSA-related stakeholders. The Focal Points ensure the exchange of food safety information between EFSA and national stakeholders through a national network.
EFSA is the keystone of European Union food and feed safety risk assessment. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.
EFSA is connected with national food safety authorities via the EFSA Advisory Forum (AF). Through the AF, Member States advise EFSA on scientific matters as well on EFSA’s work programme and priorities.
The AF also helps address emerging risk issues as early as possible.
The main benefits anticipated from this cooperation includes the sharing of the burden of risk assessments, easy access to expertise not available at home and, in general, making the most efficient use of sparse and finite resources.
Maltese Focal Point of EFSA
In Malta, the Focal Point of the European Food Safety Authority is the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA).
What is the role of the Focal Point?
The role of the Focal Point is to act as a collaborative centre in Malta with the primary responsibility to support the Maltese representative of the Advisory Forum in gathering data and transferring information between EFSA and relevant bodies in Malta, which include risk managers, national authorities, stakeholders and research institutes in the fields of risk assessments on food and feed safety, animal and plant health, animal welfare and nutrition, and in communications in these areas.
The tasks for the Focal Point in supporting the Advisory Forum member of Malta shall be as follows:
Ensure the exchange of information on:
The development of important risk assessment initiatives in Malta and in EFSA;
Results of relevant scientific research projects;
Ongoing risk assessments and opinions under preparation ;
Issues that may give rise to potential divergences of opinions between Malta and EFSA ;
Ensure close cooperation as far as appropriate on the preparation of EFSA’s and Maltese competent authorities’ Work Programmes;
Requests for specific information.
Provide advice on:
Scientific actions of common interest that could be undertaken within the network, in particular in the framework of Article 36;
Review or proposals for new designations for updates of the list of competent organisations in Malta (Article 36 List);
Assignment of tasks to Competent Organisations on the List;
Monitor progress and performance of scientific work undertaken by Maltese organisations on the List;
The development and maintenance of databases of scientific experts and research organisations in Malta that could assist EFSA and the national authorities in conducting collaborative work in support of risk assessments in the area of food and feed safety;
Roster of national experts;
Requests to national experts.
Provide support on:
Disseminating materials concerning EFSA within Malta;
Organising and co-ordinating in Malta the exchange of information and documentation concerning scientific activities of relevance to EFSA;
Providing an interface between EFSA and national level stakeholders;