Approaches to Risk Assessment
APPROACHES TO RISK ASSESSMENT
At the present time there is no consensus on a uniform risk assessment model for use in animal health and associated human health issues. Harmonization of models for risk assessment are desirable for several reasons. Harmonization of the approaches followed by the various organizations and disciplines will result from scientific discussions, information exchange, and understanding each other's goals and objectives. It is not at all standardization but rather a sharing of information on what approaches and definitions are being used. First, the development of an approach exclusive to animal health could undermine the credibility of our risk assessments in the eyes of other disciplines, especially those conducting risk assessments on biological agents. Second, the possibility of duplication of efforts in performing risk assessments on a given hazard could be minimized if an understanding existed on approaches used. Third, the acquisition of methods developed in other disciplines would be facilititated bu the use of shred or common approached to risk assessment. In recent years the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been encouraging governments to base their national measures on the international standards, guidelines and recommendations develeoped by WTO member governments in other international organizations. These agencies include for animal health, the Office international des épizooties (OIE); for food safety, the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the FAO/WHO; and for plant health the Interantional Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). As an example, the risk assessment paradigm developed by a committee of the National Research Council, an agency of the National Academy of Science (NAS) in 1983, is being used by an FAO/WHO expert consultation on the application of risk analysis to food standards issues (WHO 1995).