Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) vision is to ensure a safe food supply that supports the health of people in Australia and New Zealand. To achieve this vision, FSANZ develops effective, evidence based food standards in collaboration with Australian and New Zealand governments. In undertaking food regulatory science, FSANZ ensures that food regulatory measures are based on the best available scientific evidence, using a risk analysis framework. The successful application of science is critical to the effectiveness and appropriateness of food regulatory measures, and underpins the risk management decision making process.
Read more about scientific issues facing FSANZ in Chief Scientist, Dr Paul Brent's series of articles - From the desk of the Chief Scientist.
FSANZ Science Strategy
The scientific work of FSANZ forms the basis of our ability to ensure food safety and protect the public health and safety of consumers. To ensure that FSANZ is undertaking the highest quality science, FSANZ implements a Science Strategy which outlines a strategic approach to ensuring our scientific capability. FSANZ launched its first Science Strategy in 2006. The FSANZ Science Strategy 2010-2015 builds on the original strategy and identifies new areas to enhance our science.
The primary intention of the new Science Strategy is to position our food regulatory science to address current and emerging challenges through a focus on seven key strategic areas.
Underpinning the strategy will be yearly implementation plans which will identify specific objectives and deliverables FSANZ will undertake to meet the aims identified. The FSANZ Science Strategy Implementation Plan 2012 focuses on continuing to build our specialist scientific expertise, continuing to enhance the systematic collection, analysis and reporting of data relating to our food regulatory science, and increasing our capacity to predict, investigate and respond to emerging food safety issues.
Risk Analysis Framework
Maintaining the safety of food requires constant vigilance by government, industry and consumers as the food supply continues to change as a result of new technologies, expanding trade opportunities, ethnic diversity in the population and changing individual diets. The challenge for food regulators is to maintain a food regulatory system that delivers safe food for the population, enables consumers to make informed choices and maintains public confidence in the food supply chain.
FSANZ develops food standards, and joint codes of practice with industry, covering the composition and labelling of food sold in Australia and New Zealand and Australia-only food standards addressing food safety issues and primary production and processing. In considering the risks associated with food, FSANZ uses the widely accepted framework of risk analysis. Risk analysis frameworks are a structured way of examining and incorporating the wide variety of factors that impact on a decision-making process, and are widely used in the health sector.
The Analysis of Food-Related Health Risks provides information on the risk analysis process used by FSANZ to identify, assess and manage food-related health risks within a structured framework. The document is intended to provide a broad overview of the FSANZ process employed in assessing food-related health risks. It is not intended to provide detailed information on the approach used by FSANZ in assessing particular types of foods e.g. food contaminants or substances added to food. This document should be read in conjunction with the FSANZ Science Strategy 2010-2015 which considers how FSANZ can continue to enhance its scientific capabilities.