Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 11, 2007
Publication Date: December 11, 2007
Citation: Luchansky,J. 2007. Lessons learned from the 2007 ARS-FSIS Workshop [abstract].Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting.San Antonio,TX. p.1.
In February 2007, the Food Safety Inspection Service sponsored a workshop on improving communication between risk assessors, regulatory officials, and research scientists in the Agricultural Research Services to better identify, address, and fill risk assessment data needs. Approximately 60 people took part in the workshop. Participants worked in groups to identify key hurdles to improved communication and to formulate potential solutions to facilitate filling data needs. The following themes emerged. First, close contact needs to be initiated and maintained between risk assessors, policy makers, and research scientists. Participants suggested that regular conference calls and face-to-face meetings (such as could be accomplished as add-ons to larger scientific conferences) would be a good first step. Overcoming institutional/administrative barriers and support from agency leadership are needed to foster communication. Second, risk assessors need to do a better job of advertising their data needs. One highly effective way for doing this would be to post the needs on a stand-alone web site, together with contact information and other pertinent details. Third, researchers should work closely with risk assessors and policy makers to implement research needs into their research agendas. Generating data to strengthen risk assessments should serve a practical purpose. However, fourth, it is important that researchers are able to see the value of their research and receive feedback. It is frustrating to generate data to fill research needs only to see those data go for naught because, as it turns out, they were not needed to create policy. Fifth, it is important to continue to educate stakeholders in the risk assessment process. By understanding the unique roles of risk assessors, policy makers, and researchers in the risk assessment process, we can continue to improve how we identify and fill research needs.