Last week the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Food Safety Commission of Japan (JFSC) signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen risk assessment and data sharing between the two regulatory bodies.

The agreement aims to increase the pool of international data on risks in the increasingly global food chain, one of EFSA’s top priorities.Both EFSA and JFSC are responsible for managing the risks associated with the food chain in their jurisdictions and providing scientific advice to health and agricultural agencies.

The memorandum between the two organizations is the second formal international cooperation agreement EFSA has signed with a national food safety authority outside the EU. In 2007, EFSA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed a similar agreement to facilitate the sharing of confidential scientific information.

“EFSA is working towards strengthening cooperation on data collection and data sharing with food safety organizations around the world while respecting confidentiality obligations,” said the agency in a statement.

In addition to its agreements with the U.S. and Japan, EFSA engages the global food regulatory community by participating in Codex Alimentarius, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WFO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

The organization also recently established the Hong Kong Center for Food Safety and is also working extensively with Croatian, Turkish, and Macedonian authorities to integrate their food regulatory programs into the EU.