Food safety levels in the Netherlands are very high. Ensuring food safety is one of the policy objectives of the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Agriculture (EL&I) and Innovation and Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). It is their responsibility to safeguard public health, preserve consumer confidence and uphold the export position of the Dutch agricultural and foodstuffs industry.
On-going efforts to further develop our knowledge in the area food safety are therefore needed. RIKILT currently searches for methods to identify new risk factors which are coming to the fore. A contemporary and politically contentious issue is the increase in the number of authorised and non-authorised uses of GMOs in raw materials. Products from cloned animals are being sold as well, and the accelerated development of nanotechnological applications for the production of foodstuffs, for food products and for packaging materials is also relevant in this regard.
RIKILT is enlarging its knowledge base to investigate the possible risks of GMOs. At the same time we are also expanding our knowledge of better-known risks such as resistance to antibiotics and the presence of natural toxins in the food chain.
The acquisition of knowledge related to more efficient identification and management of risks in the food chain is also an important focus of attention at RIKILT.