October 15, 2013 – Health Canada and France's Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) signed an agreement last January to not only share data and information on a range of health issues but also agree to take similar approaches to assessments of food safety risks and therefore benefit from the unification of their scientific cooperation.
The news release from Health Canada states, "This agreement reinforces the long-standing relations between the two agencies and follows the cooperation agreement signed in July 2008."
In the past few years, both countries have regularly exchanged information on Bisphenol A and the nutritional benefits and risks of intense sweeteners. Information sharing will increase their ability to respond to emergent issues
The mission of The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) is to procure analytical and statistical information in the areas of surveillance, expert appraisal, research and reference within a gamut of fields including human, animal and planet well-being and health so they can provide a cross-functional perspective on health issues, and identify the risks to which people are exposed within their lifestyles and consumption patterns, as well as through environmental elements.
The Food Directorate in Canada is responsible for creating policies, setting food safety standards, and providing advice and information on the safety and nutritional value of foods. Its mandate is carried out through coordinated programs of scientific research, surveillance, pre-market assessment and regulatory activities in the fields listed below.
- chemical and microbiological contaminants of foods, such as heavy metals or E. coli
- food additives, such as aspartame
- food processes such as canning and irradiation
- novel foods, including genetically modified (GM) foods
- nutrition, including vitamins and nutrients
- transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
Key activities include:
- conducting scientific research
- conducting health risk and benefit assessments
- developing policies, standards and guidelines, i. e. for approval of new food additives
- evaluating submissions from the food industry
- providing information to support Canadians in their decisions about food and diet