Institutions internationales One Health: EFSA joins forces with EU agencies

EFSA and its sister agencies providing scientific advice on environment, public health and food safety have published a joint statement to express their common commitment to support the One Health agenda in Europe.

The statement was signed on the occasion of the One Health Conference – One Health for All, All for One Health, which took place in Luxembourg City on 13 November 2023. Organised by the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission (DG SANTE), the conference took stock of the current state of implementation of the One Health approach in Europe and discussed how to further strengthen One Health in the future.

Joining forces to meet extraordinary challenges

During the opening session, EFSA’s Chief Scientist, Carlos das Neves, presented the inter-agency task force on One Health, which brings together the One Health efforts made by EFSA and the other four ENVI agencies: the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Speaking about the task force, Dr das Neves said: “The extraordinary challenges our planet faces today require extraordinary efforts. Building a safe and sustainable food system in Europe is one such challenge, which will require transdisciplinary collaboration, coordination, communication, and capacity building. In other words, it will require a One Health approach. EFSA and its sister agencies have committed to working together to provide this much needed joined-up scientific advice. Together we are stronger!”

The larger picture

Europe is facing increasingly complex and frequent threats to health and well-being, which serve as a reminder that human health is interconnected with the health of animals, plants, and ecosystems. It is now widely acknowledged that responding to these threats requires implementing the One Health approach, which recognises the need for transdisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration across the domains of human, animal, plant and ecosystem health.

The One Health approach has gained significant relevance in the European Union, and it is reflected in the ambitious goals contained in the European Green Deal, the European Health Union, and the EU Global Health Strategy. However, many challenges remain in translating this concept into action.

One Health research conference Luxembourg 

The Luxembourg Veterinary and Food Administration (ALVA) emphasises the importance of this topic and therefore organises the annual conference on research in food safety this year with the focus on One Health. The event is supported by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and will be held in-person at the Cercle Cité, 11 December. More information including draft agenda / speaker abstracts here.

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