Food Law News - EU - 2006

EFSA Press Release, 21 November 2006

BSE - Geographical BSE Risk: EFSA consults on revision of assessment methodology

Today, EFSA's Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) launched a public consultation on a revision of the methodology for Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) assessment. The European Commission uses this scientific advice as the basis for attributing BSE risk status to countries worldwide. The update takes account of new scientific knowledge on BSE and recent trends in BSE prevalence based on the most recent surveillance data. By allowing a more accurate assessment of geographical BSE risk, the revised methodology will assist risk managers in taking decisions to protect consumers which are commensurate with the risk identified.

Since 2003, EFSA is responsible for assessing Geographical BSE Risk, by which countries are classified according to their level of risk with respect to BSE. This work is fundamental for consumer protection and also has implications for global trade. EFSA has so far carried out GBRs for 19 [see list below] countries, applying a methodology originally developed in 1998.

EFSA's proposal to revise the methodology for assessing Geographical BSE risk includes innovations and changes at different levels. In particular, it takes account of:

EFSA is consulting widely on its proposed approach to ensure the update is done openly and transparently and to allow input from all interested parties. Contributions can be made on the draft opinion until 14th January 2007, by visiting the EFSA website at:


[1] Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Namibia, Nicaragua, Norway, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, South Africa (EFSA self task), Swaziland, Sweden, United States of America, and Uruguay.

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