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Conclusions and the way forward

After a full day of presentation and animated discussion following each session, several conclusive remarks were made and suggestions for the way forward were done. These are reported below on a non-exhaustive basis and without being classified in a ranking of relevance:

  • ACROPOLIS is an important IT tool to support the regulatory process and enhance confidence in its outcome. DG SANCO and EFSA are keen to have such a cumulative risk assessment methodology incorporated in Europe.
  • EFSA and DG SANCO will discuss how the final methodology and the current IT tool might be useful in the final methodology to be set by European institutes.
  • A number of suggestions were made to harmonize the cumulative exposure assessment worldwide. It is important to continue progressing gradually and step by step. First, the ACROPOLIS IT tool needs to be accepted by regulators in the Member States who need to gain more experience with the IT tool in risk management practice.
  • DG SANCO proposes to set up an electronic WG with Member States' experts to address both short term and long term issues on cumulative risk management, as it needs experience of regulators before incorporating this concept in MRL setting.
  • ACROPOLIS can help to discuss risk management decisions about the required level of protection. This helps to make legislation more open and understandable for European citizens.
  • The cooperation between the ACROPOLIS project and Member States not original involved in the project is appreciated and should preferably continue.
  • Aggregate exposure modeling is part of the innovation, but remains in its infancy. Within the coming four years, EFSA and/or Member States might benefit from the first prototype already developed as part of the ACROPOLIS project.
  • DG SANCO suggested that ACROPOLIS partners should act as ambassadors of the IT tool in their national environment. There is a need to increase the awareness of the work that has already been done based on European funding. . Practical application and exercises should not only be done at EU level, but also at national level to gain experience with the new methodology in the Member States.
  • The EFSA PPR panel should look at the current state of play on cumulative risk assessment, not only from a scientific perspective but also to be workable and practical.
  • The Member States should help to improve on future data availability.
  • DG SANCO highly recommended RIVM and EFSA to cooperate on further implementation of the ACROPOLIS IT tool in Europe.

The chairwoman for the day, Annemiek van Bolhuis closed the meeting with thanks to the delegates for attending, to the speakers for sharing their expertise with the participants. She also thanked Freshfel Europe for the good organization of the meeting.