In the future, AGES and the Federal Office for Food Safety (BAES) will contribute their expertise regarding food safety and environmental protection to an Austrian taskforce to combat environmental crime. Recently, ministries and authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Expert:in Taskforce NEST. The National Environmental Security Taskforce - NEST for short - is a network of authorities that will combat environmental crime in a more targeted manner through coordinated cooperation. Our managing directors Anton Reinl and Thomas Kickinger signed on behalf of AGES and BAES.
"We welcome the establishment of the NEST working group, as it will ensure the targeted fight against fraud in the food chain as well," said AGES Managing Director Anton Reinl. BAES Director Thomas Kickinger sees a win-win situation for all parties involved, because cases of environmental crime or fraud can be handled holistically as a result: "The synergies generated by this lead to the avoidance of duplication and thus to increased effectiveness of controls."
In addition to environmental crime areas such as illegal treatment, dumping, storage and transport of hazardous and non-hazardous waste or placing on the market of wood and wood products from illegal logging, the cooperation partners deal in particular with the topics of food harmful to health due to fraudulent practices during production or placing on the market or environmental hazards due to soil, air and water contamination - one of the core competences of the experts of AGES and BAES.
We are already closely networked with international crime fighting authorities, e.g. in OPSON, a worldwide operation to combat misleading and fraudulent practices in the food sector, or in international operations against the smuggling of the protected European glass eel and against the import and trade of illegal plant protection products.