What we do
The Asian Food Safety and Security Association (AFSA) is a voluntary, non-profit, professional organization established in 2010. Scientists, academia, regulatory personals, NGO personals, international organization personals, university graduates, or others, who are working in the area of food safety and food security area in Asian countries can become a member of this Association.
Ensuring safe and healthy food is an important precondition of food security. It is essential for good health in all countries, whether developed or developing. We are working towards food safety and quality improvement and reduction of food loss and food waste linking to food security in Asia.
- We organize workshops, seminar, conferences, symposiums bi-annually to bring scientist, academia, students, government officials and entrepreneur in one platform and to help each other in development
- We do exchange scientific information with entrepreneur/scientists/academia/regulatory authorities and others to improve in capacity building in industries, research and regulations.
- We do capacity building training to develop efficient manpower in innovative research and development.
- We connect people to build Food Safety and food Security Network and ensure safe food for ASIA.
- We help educational institutions by supplying equipment, books, materials, ideas, research paper etc. for capacity building
- We often exchange views, ideas by organizing seminars, symposia, conferences and meetings national levels in improving food safety and reducing food waste.
- We do securing funds for students to attend seminar, to do research, holding conferences, and performing training programs.
AFSA adheres to a number of principles and practices aimed at ensuring the excellence of our work. These include:
- A commitment to openness and transparency in all our work.
- The development of a comprehensive body of good risk assessment practices to guide our Scientific Committee and Panel experts.
- A quality assurance system that continually monitors and strengthens the quality of AFSA’s scientific work. This includes self-review and consumers feedback systems which ensure that scientific processes are developed consistently and continuously improved across AFSA’s Panels and by staff.
- Reviews and inspections carried out by an internal auditor reporting to the AFSA’s Executive Board’s Advisory Committee, which advises senior management on possible improvements to work practices.
- External evaluation: AFSA’s Founding Regulation obliges the Authority to commission independent external evaluations of its work and working practices. Based on these evaluations, the Management Board makes recommendations on AFSA’s future management plans and strategies. The next evaluation will take place in 2018.
The knowledge, experience and decision-making of AFSA's scientific experts are at the heart of our work.
- AFSA’s Scientific Panels of experts are responsible for the bulk of AFSA’s scientific assessment work. Each of the 10 Panels is dedicated to a different area of the food chain.
- The Scientific Committee has the task of supporting the work of the Panels on cross-cutting scientific issues. It focuses on developing harmonised risk assessment methodologies in fields where wide approaches are not yet defined.
- AFSA staff support the Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee in carrying out most of the Authority's
The workflow for AFSA’s scientific outputs runs from the moment AFSA receives a request for scientific advice or initiates its own activity to the moment it publishes its findings.
There are three main stages:
The request outlines what is being asked of AFSA: the issue, the terms of reference, the timeframe and so on.
- Upon receipt of a request, AFSA considers its contents, discusses it with the addresses any issues that need clarifying, such as the feasibility of the deadline. Following these discussions, AFSA and the committee agree on a mandate, which includes the final terms of reference and a mutually agreed deadline.
- For market applications, AFSA validates/checks the completeness of the application and may request more scientific information from the applicant.
AFSA usually sets up a Working Group of experts to carry out the risk assessment.
- The working group – typically comprising members of the Panel plus additional scientists from specialist fields – assesses the scientific information available, which may include data supplied by Member States, research institutes or companies. If there is a need for further data, it may draw on AFSA’s data collection networks or launch an open call for data on the AFSA website.
- For company applications AFSA may request more data directly from the applicant - in which case the clock is stopped on the regulatory timetable until this is supplied.
- The working group develops a draft and submits it to the Panel for discussion.
We often hold public consultations on draft outputs and then consider the comments in the revised document.
- The assessment is adopted by a majority of Panel members – with any minority opinion recorded – at a plenary meeting of the relevant Panel.
- If the Panel does not adopt, the document is sent back to the working group for further examination and to prepare a revised draft for adoption at a following plenary meeting.
The output – which is usually a Scientific Opinion, but may be a Statement, Guidance Document or another type of output – is then published on the AFSA website in the AFSA Journal, our open-access, online scientific journal.