The German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment have signed a cooperation agreement, focused on developing new scientific methods for risk assessment of toxicity of mixtures, food ingredients, contaminants and pesticide residues. The agreement also provides for scientific cooperation in the area of alternatives for animal testing.

"RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment and BfR have been collaborating on a project basis for many years", said BfR President Professor Dr. Andreas Hensel on the occasion of the signing of the agreement. "In the area of scientific risk assessment of mixtures of substances and animal protection in particular we want to engage in even closer cooperation in the future." RIVM is very pleased to expand the already well established collaboration between the experts of the Dutch and German organisations. "Joining forces with BfR will enable us to further improve our work on independent, scientific risk assessment and give trustworthy advice to government, professionals and the public", said Annemiek van Bolhuis, RIVM director Public Health and Health Services. 

Exchange of scientific expertise

At the centre of the agreement, which was signed in Utrecht on 21 June 2016, is extensive mutual exchange of scientific expertise. It supports the scientific goals of both institutions in the area of research and development of assessment strategies and helps to avoid duplicity. The insights gained as part of the cooperation between the two institutions will be made available to the scientific community and the public.

Modelling software

In the future, the BfR will also support the continued development of RIVM software for the mathematical modelling of consumer exposure to chemical substances in products.

Animal protection

The cooperation agreement provides for scientific cooperation in the area of animal protection as well. The German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) which is based at the BfR,  will build up scientific exchange with the involved colleagues at RIVM.