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The Danish Food Act is the central legal foundation for food legislation in Denmark. Infringement of food regulations can lead to measures under criminal law and consumer damage claims under civil law, whereby the final decision rests with the courts. Government measures with regard to food safety are often based on scientific risk assessments. However, the final decision on the legality of governmental measures rests with the courts. In Denmark, risk assessment is institutionally separated from risk management. Some risk assessments are published and others are not.
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark
|Name||Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark|
The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark (MFAF) deals with agricultural and fisheries policy as well as food safety in Denmark. The MFAF prepares draft legislation in the field of food and feed safety. The food safety tasks of the MFAF are supported by two specialist authorities: The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) and the Danish Agricultural Agency (DAA).
The food-related area of work of the MFAF extends beyond food safety to include, for instance, nutrition, plant health, animal health and animal welfare.
Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
|Name||Danish Veterinary and Food Administration|
As a subordinate specialist authority of the MFAF, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) is responsible for risk management in the field of food and feed safety. The DVFA is responsible for food and feed inspections countrywide. The risk assessments conducted by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), are used by the DVFA as the basis for management measures in the field of food safety. The risk assessments conducted by the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA), Aarhus University, are used by the DVFA as the basis for management measures in the area of feed.
The remit of the DVFA includes novel foods, food supplements, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), zoonoses, mineral water and residues of plant protection products and veterinary medicinal products. The area of work of the DVFA extends beyond food safety to include, for instance, consumer information, i.e. food labelling and nutritional advice.
The Danish Agricultural Agency
|Name||The Danish Agricultural Agency|
As a specialist authority that supports the MFAF, the Danish Agricultural Agency (DAA) is responsible for the areas of agriculture, plants and horticulture. The remit of DAA includes the plant health area (National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO)) and monitoring the application of plant protection products in the primary production. One National Reference Laboratory is attached to the DAA pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004.
National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark
|Name||National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark|
The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) researches and communicates sustainable and value-adding solutions in the areas of food and health for the benefit of society and industry.
The institute’s tasks are carried out in a unique interdisciplinary cooperation between the disciplines of nutrition, chemistry, toxicology, microbiology, epidemiology and technology.
The institute serves as a National Reference Laboratory for chemical and microbiological food contamination pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004. Furthermore, the National Food Institute is also the EU Reference Laboratory for Pesticides in Cereals and Feedstuffs, for Processing Contaminants in Food, for Metal and Nitrogenous Compounds and for Antimicrobial Resistance. The institute also serves as the WHO collaboration centre for antimicrobial resistance for foodborne pathogens and for food contamination monitoring – and as FAO collaborating centre for Antimicrobial Resistance.
Providing scientific advice and risk assessment to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is one of the institute’s core assignments and is based on the strong scientific competence and expertise within the institute.
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen
|Name||Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen|
The University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (IVH) provides research and research-based advice as well as education in the areas of veterinary and animal science, food safety, antibiotic resistance, animal models and welfare, immune systems and lifestyle diseases. The department covers a wide spectrum of animal and human disease biology in close collaboration with other departments at the University of Copenhagen. The department comprise 9 sections with a total of 360-400 employees.
The main areas in relation to the Danish Food Safety System are infectious livestock diseases, avian influenza and enzootic virus infections, zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance, parasitic infections and diseases of wild fauna, and aquatic diseases.
The Danish Veterinary Consortium, which consists of IVH, UCPH and the Statens Serum Institut (SSI), is responsible for public sector services related to veterinary contingency in Denmark. The consortium conducts research to support and underpin decisions in the area of veterinary contingency, and also provides the DVFA with scientific advice. The public sector consultancy for the DVFA includes advice on a wide range of subjects, including disease surveillance and handling of specific emergency tasks, e.g. suspected disease outbreaks, as well as assistance in the form of risk assessments and replies to questions from the government.
The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is responsible for the education of veterinarians (DVM) in Denmark. In addition, UCPH offers a range of BSc and MSc programmes in the subjects of animal science, food science and human nutrition.
Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, Aarhus University (AU)
|Name||Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, Aarhus University (AU)|
The remit of the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA), Aarhus University (AU), includes research-based risk assessments in the field of feed safety. The DCA provides research-based consultancy and solutions including risk assessments to be used by the MFAF, the Danish Agricultural Agency and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration as the basis for regulation and legislative work. The DCA cooperates with the DCE to fulfil tasks, i.e. for the MFAF in areas in which their different kinds of expertise are supplementary.
The area of work of the DCA includes:
- Livestock: production systems and management, breeding, health, welfare, feeding and feed safety, cloning, GMOs
- Food quality: quality assurance, production systems, supply, processing, storage, nutrition, exposure assessment, nanotechnology
- Plant health: plant protection products, including efficacy testing and evaluation
- Plants: production management, breeding, biotechnology, climatology, agroecology
- Interactions among climate, soil, plants, animals and humans in agricultural systems
- Organic farming.
Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University (AU)
|Name||Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, Aarhus University (AU)|
The Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE), Aarhus University (AU), provides research-based consultancy and solutions to the Ministry of the Environment, the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate, and others. The DCE cooperates with the DCA to fulfil tasks, i.e. for the MFAF in areas in which their different kinds of expertise are supplementary.
The work of the DCE includes areas in which environmental considerations are of major importance for the assessment of food, feed and their production, such as:
- Contaminants in the food chain
- GMOs (e.g. environmental risk assessments, plant invasion studies and microbial diversity)
- Plant protection products and their residues (e.g. ecotoxicology, exposure scenarios, models and ecosystems)
- Plant health (e.g. pest risk assessments).
The DCE is involved in the development of guidelines for risk assessment and has expertise in antibiotics, growth regulators, and wildlife with regard to the dispersal of emerging diseases.
Statens Serum Institut
|Name||Statens Serum Institut|
Statens Serum Institut (SSI) is a governmental research institution within the field of health science. At SSI, we conduct research in epidemiology, microbiology, immunology and biotechnology as a prerequisite for and an integrated part of our core areas in preparedness against infectious diseases, biological threats and control of congenital disorders.
SSI conducts surveillance of infectious diseases and provides counselling to the Danish healthcare system and authorities in the event of, e.g., epidemics that demand urgent action. Specifically, SSI plays a key role in the detection and investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks. All of SSI’s activities are based on research. Data and new knowledge are gathered and produced in all priority areas, communicated to the outside world by SSI employees and published in scientific journals.
Regional and local levels
The regional and local levels in Denmark consist of five regions and 98 districts. The DVFA consists of three local veterinary control offices and five local food control offices. The local offices are an integrated part of the DVFA.
Article 36 institutions
|Institutions involved in the EFSA network pursuant to Article 36 Reg. (EC) No. 178/2002|