The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment
The work of the BfR focuses on people as consumers. The institute was founded in 2002 within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Through its work, the BfR plays a key role in making food, substances and products safer.
The characteristic feature of the work of the BfR in the interests of consumer health protection is its scientific, research-driven approach. The public agencies responsible for risk management can draw on the institute’s health assessments and recommendations for action. The work results and recommendations of the BfR provide important support for all interested parties, helping them to make informed decisions on the measures they take.
With its scientifically based risk assessments, the BfR provides important stimuli for consumer health protection both in Germany and abroad.
Focal points of the BfR’s activities
- Health assessment of the biological and material-chemical safety of foods
- Health assessment of the safety of substances (chemicals, pesticides, biocides) and selected products (consumer products, such as textiles, food packaging, cosmetics and tobacco products)
- Risk assessment of genetically modified organisms in food, feed, plants and animals
- Risk communication
- Development and validation of alternatives to animal experiments
- Development of methods and validation activities of the national reference laboratories
Working at the BfR
People with different occupations and levels of experience work together at the BfR.
This cooperation is characterised by clear goal orientation, personal responsibility, loyalty and a focus on performance – and is underpinned by trust, respect and the satisfaction of all employees.
- 800 staff at three locations in Berlin
- One in three employees is a scientist
The majority are from natural science disciplines
like medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, food chemistry and nutritional science – but there are also other disciplines such as information technology, mathematics, business economics and social sciences
The BfR welcomes applications from people of all nationalities and is committed to equality at the workplace.
Family and career
The BfR attaches importance to reconciling the two
In order to gain a higher profile in the competition for qualified personnel and maintain the performance capability of its employees in the long term, the BfR promotes the compatibility of family and career. We take “family” to mean a way of life characterised by care for one another, raising and/or caring for children, relatives and/or partners.
Accordingly, the BfR has put in place a broad spectrum of measures that help employees to reconcile the often conflicting demands of the working environment and everyday family life in a way that achieves a balance that is satisfactory for both sides. These include flexible working hours, a wide range of part-time models, work-places with alternating telework, guest offices and parent-child offices, in-house seminars and various advisory services.
The efforts of the BfR in this area were awarded the basic “audit berufundfamilie ®” certificate in 2009, and the institute was successfully re-audited in 2012.