- Relja Beck, PhD, DVM
Head of the Parasitology Laboratory
Croatian Veterinary Institute
PhD Relja Beck, DVM, scientific advisor, was born in Zagreb in 1972. After completing his studies at the Veterinary Faculty, University of Zagreb, he started to work as young researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases with the Clinic where he was working from 2002 to 2009 on research projects related to Trichinella. In June 2009 he was employed at the Croatian Veterinary Institute where he is currently working as the Head of the Parasitology Laboratory. In 2016 he was elected to be President of the Scientific Council of the Institute. International education started at the Institute for Consumer Protection in Berlin and continued as Italian government scholarin theIstitutoSuperiore di Sanita in Rome for six months, where he was conducting research in the field of molecular parasitology. He has continued collaboration with European Union Reference Laboratory for Parasites at ISS mostly on zoonotic aspects of Giardia duodenalis what was the focus on his doctoral thesis. Scientific and professional interest includes general parasitology, molecular diagnostics and molecular epidemiology of parasites, especially zoonotic agents transmitted with food as well as pathogens transmissible with vectors. He is a member of the Scientific Committee for Biological Hazards of the Croatian Food Agency. He has published more than 100 scientific and professional papers, of which 50 are quoted in WoS with h-index 15. He has participated in numerous international and domestic scientific and professional symposiums, as well as workshops as a lecturer and invited lecturer. He is leading national project financed by Croatian science foundation where he is a reviewer in the field of biomedicine. He is active in several COST projects, and the Vice chair of the European Network for Foodborne Parasites (EURO-FBP).
- Stef Bronzwaer MD, MPH, PhD
Head of Advisory Forum & Scientific Cooperation Unit
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Stef Bronzwaer (1967) was born in Heerlen, the Netherlands. He went to the University of Amsterdam where he graduated as medical doctor in 1995. In 2001 he completed his Master of Public Health degree at the Netherlands School of Public Health in Utrecht, and in 2003 he completed his PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands.
As a medical doctor he worked shortly at the Social Medical Centre ‘Bukas Palad’ in a slum-area near Manila, the Philippines, where he also studied risk factors for a complicated disease course in children with measles.
In 1997 he moved to the Infectious disease unit of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy, where he worked as project manager of an EU-project making an inventory of resources and means for controlling communicable diseases.
From 1998 to 2002 he worked in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands, where he helped establish the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS), for which he served as project leader.
From 2002 to 2005 he worked at the Directorate Public Health (DG Health and Consumer protection) at the European Commission in Luxembourg where he held responsibility for the proper functioning and coherence of a number of European surveillance networks on communicable diseases and followed the implementation of the Community strategy against antimicrobial resistance.
- Vlatka Buzjak Služek, M.Sc.
Expert Associate in the Department for Risk Assessment
Croatian Food Agency (HAH)
She graduated from Faculty of Food Technology Osijek, University of J. J. Strossmayer in Osijek where currently is attending doctoral study of Food engineering. Since 2010, she has been working in the Croatian Food Agency, first as national assistant coordinator on the IPA Pre-accession programme Preparatory measures for the participation of Candidate and Potential Candidate countries in European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), then as expert associate in the Department for Communications and last two years in the Department for Risk Assessment.
She attended a number of trainings in the field of risk assessment and risk communication with an accent on the exposure assessment, such as BTSF trainings Microbiological risk assessment (Berlin, 2015), Nutrition risk assessment (Rome, 2017), EFSA Crisis Simulation Exercise (Parma, 2015) and visited the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) for three months in scope of the programme Promoting talents and scientific careers (Berlin, 2017).
She participates in work of the EFSA Focal Point network and Communications Experts Network as appointed national alternate member. She is member of the Croatian Society of Food Technologists, Biotechnologists and Nutritionists.
- Prof. D. Sc. Daniela Čačić Kenjerić
Faculty of Food Technology Osijek
Daniela Čačić Kenjerić received her BSc degree in Food engineering at the University of Osijek (2000), and her PhD in the scientific area of Biotechnical sciences at the University of Zagreb (2004).
Her main courses in education are Food science, Functional foods and supplements; Nutrition throughout the life cycle, Dietary assessment and nutritional epidemiology, Nutrition and sport; Weight reduction and personalized diets. She is a visiting professor at the University of Mostar (BiH) and University in Tuzla (BiH). Research activity includes dietary assessment of various population groups in Croatia, with focus on intake of dietary fibres, calcium, iron and phenolic compounds.
She took part in 37 international and 9 national scientific conferences and authored/co-authored more than 50 published scientific papers. She has taken part in the realization of 2 international projects, 3 national scientific projects and 5 professional projects.
- Marina Deur, M. Sc.
Head of the EU Coordination Department
Ministry of Agriculture
Marina Deur, M. Sc., Head of the EU Coordination Department in the Agricultural Policy, EU and International Cooperation Directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture. She was born in São Paulo (Brazil). During the Homeland War she moved to Zagreb and worked as a correspondent for Brazilian Radio Nova Eldorada AM.
She got her Bachelor of Science (Hons). in Biology – Ecology in 1989 at the São Paulo University and Master of Science in Social Sciences – Politics, International Relations and National Security – in 2010 at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb.
Her first job was at the Croatian Agricultural Center in the affairs of the agricultural advisory services. At the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management she started working in the Agricultural Advisory Service Sector in 1994, and since 1995 has been working in the Department of International Cooperation, where she was engaged in activities in the field of multilateral relations in agriculture, in particular with United Nations institutions (UNCSD, UNDP, FAO, etc.), NATO and other specialized international organizations.
She was the Secretary of the organization committee of the 32nd World Wine and Wine Making Congress and the 7th General Assembly of the International Organization for Viticulture and Enology (OIV), which was held in Zagreb in 2009 and a Member of the National Commission for Preparation of the Performance of the Republic of Croatia at the World Expo 1998 held in Portugal.
During the negotiations between the EU and Croatia she was a member of the working group for the preparation of negotiations – the acquis communautaire, Chapter 11 – Agriculture and rural development under the rural development subgroup.
Since 2012, she is the Head of the EU Coordination Department in the Ministry of Agriculture where she coordinates activities related to the participation of Croatian representatives in the work of the EU bodies (Council and European Commission) in the fields of competence of the Ministry.
- Doc. Dr. Sc. Jelena Đugum
Ministry of Agriculture
Doc. Dr. Sc. Jelena Đugum was born in 1973 in Zagreb. She received her B.Sc. degree in food engineering (1998), and her PhD in the scientific area of biotechnical sciences (2007) at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology in Zagreb. In 2005, she started working for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management as the Expert Associate for Food Quality, and in 2006 she was at the position of Head of Department for Food Processing Industry. From 2008 to 2011 she was at the position of Director of the Directorate for Food Safety and Quality in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development.
From January 2012 to November 2013, in the Ministry of Agriculture, she was the Head of Service for Labelling Quality Products and from November 2013 to December 2016 the Senior Adviser- Specialist. Currently she is Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and the president of the Management Board of Croatian Food Agency.
Doc. Dr. Sc. Jelena Đugum was the associate in numerous scientific and technology/ professional projects (The mechanisms of degradation of biopolymers during extrusion, Mechanism controlled degradation of carbohydrates during the extrusion process, FutureFood 6, Production and use of starter cultures, Bakery products with high nutritional value, Production of extruded cereal flour…).
During her professional life, she finished a series of foreign education related to food engineering, food safety and labelling, and risk assessment.
She is a member of the 4 societies: Society of Food Technologists, Biotechnologists and Nutritionists, Society of University Professors and other Scientists in Zagreb, the Croatian-Austrian Society and the American Association of Cereal Chemists.
Also, she was a member of two working groups for preparing negotiations for Chapter 11. Agriculture and Rural Development and 12. Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy and a member of the working group for the Development of Industrial Policy Strategy.
- Nicole Gollnick, PhD
Deputy Head of the Executive Office
German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
Dr. Nicole Gollnick is Deputy Head of the Executive Office of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and is part of the BfR International Affairs Team. A strong focus of her work lies on international capacity building and international collaboration. In this capacity she currently co-chairs the EFSA Advisory Form Discussion Group on Capacity Building and is member of the programme committee of the EFSA EU-FORA fellowship programme.
Nicole Gollnick received her doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich. She worked for 10 years as a clinician, researcher, and lecturer at the veterinary faculty in Munich where she specialized in Bovine Health Management. Nicole Gollnick has more than 10 years of experience in international collaboration and project management acquired in both development aid and science. She joined the BfR in 2015.
- Danica Grahek Ogden, PhD
Scientific coordinator, Panel for biological hazards
Scientific committee for food safety
Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM)
Educated as DVM at University of Zagreb. First employment was as microbiologist at Institut Ruđer Bošković (Institute for Marine Research). In 1994 moved to Norway and continued to work in food microbiology at:
Food Safety Authority as a microbiologist at the lab
MATFORSK (Norwegian Food Research Institute) and Prior Norge BA as project manager for research and development projects, reporting to funding bodies and ensuring food safety throughout the chain “from farm to fork”. Projects involved identification, ranking and mitigation of risk factors using process mapping, risk assessment, change management, internal audit and training.
Det Norske Veritas (in Norway and for a year in the Aberdeen, UK) as a senior advisor with food safety and risk management in the area of microbiological risk assessment (biorisk) and business risk within the food sector as a main field.
Norwegian Veterinary Institute – project management of EU’s SAFEFOODERA project CAMPEC net
Norwegian Institute of Public Health- job included tasks with food borne diseases and zoonosis as a main field. Job included advisory role for health institutions and food safety authorities, development, use and maintenance of surveillance database, rapid response to and management of outbreaks and reporting to national and international bodies. Other tasks included development and management of scientific projects, preparation and delivery of lectures and training sessions.
I am presently employed in Norwegian scientific committee for food safety (a part of Norwegian Public Health Institute) with risk assessment of biological hazards as a main field. Job includes coordinating work of an expert panel, project management from budgeting to delivery of finished assessment and evaluation of the project. As a part of the job I am Norwegian representative in EFSAs Network for microbiological risk assessment and Advisory Forum
- Andrea Gross Bošković, Master of food technology and biotechnology
Croatian Food Agency (HAH)
Born in Zagreb. After finishing the mathematic-informatics high school, began to study at the Faculty of Food and Biotechnology Technology, University of Zagreb, where graduated in 1995 on food engineering and biochemical engineering.
First job was in a chemical company “Meteor” Đakovo as a head of Laboratories for control and development of new products. In January 2005 started to work in the Croatian Food Agency, first as head of Risk analysis department, and after reorganization, as a head of the Risk assessment department. Meanwhile, from June 2007 to June 2008, she was on the position of acting deputy director. Since 1st July 2013 she is in position of Director. At the Faculty of Food Technology Osijek she is currently attending postgraduate studies of food technology.
In the previous period, finished a series of domestic and foreign education related to risk assessment and communication in the country and abroad as well as the implementation and control of HACCP system in the food industry.
She is a member of EFSA Scientific network for microbiological risk assessment (MRA), EFSA Emerging risk exchange network (EREN) as well as national member of the EFSA Advisory Forum.
During negotiations, she was a member of the working group for preparation of negotiations – acquis communautaire, Chapter 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary protection, and is full member of the Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers, Croatian Society of Food Technologists, Biotechnologists and Nutritionists and Croatian Microbiology society.
- Brigita Hengl, PhD, DVM
Head of Department for Risk Assessment
Croatian Food Agency (HAH)
She studied Veterinary medicine at University of Zagreb. In 2012 finished PhD in area of Biotechnical Sciences with the thesis Essential oils and natural zeolite influence on production and health performance of broilers, and microbiological contamination of chicken meat. From 1997 to 2008 worked as a veterinarian inspector in facilities for meat production and meat products, milk production and milk products and have interest in the microbiological hazards associated with food and feed. Has been working in the Croatian Food Agency since 2008 in the Department of risk assessment as senior expert associate. She is a coordinator of the Scientific Committee on the biological hazards in food, and coordinator of working group for Zoonosis. Involved in a number of scientific in house projects in area of risk assessment and food safety. Member of the EFSA Scientific network for microbiological risk assessment (MRA).
- Krešimir Ivančić, M.Sc.
Ministry of Agriculture
Born on June 2nd 1979. In 2006, he graduated at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture (Plant production – pomology, viticulture and enology). In 2007, he started working for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management as Team Leader Assistant, Orbicon A/S. In 2009, he was at the position of Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser and Expert Associate for Coordination and Reporting in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development. From 2010 to 2012, in the Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management, he was the Head of Independent Department for European Integration and International Cooperation (May 2010- March 2011) and Head of Sector for Regional Development and Cross-border Cooperation (March 2011 – May 2012). In June 2012 he started working for the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, and in the period from 2012 to 2016 he was the Head of Service for Control and Legal Affairs (June 2012– March 2015), Head of Service for Financial Management and Control, Monitoring and Evaluation April 2015 – April 2016) and the Head of Sector for Preparation and Implementation of Projects (May 2016– October 2016). Since December 2016 he is Assistant Minister, Directorate for Rural Development (Ministry of Agriculture)
During his professional career, he gained ten years of experience in coordinating partnerships and project teams, including project cycle management, designing Quality Plans and regulations and monitoring and trouble-shooting. Except consolidated experience in working in a team and motivating junior team members for results-driven collaboration, he has wide experience of needs analysis and adaption. Results-orientated approach to Project Management and Implementation. Excellent knowledge of EU Regulations and Policies, CAP, Cohesion Policy.
- Assist. Prof. Irena Keser, PhD
Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology
Irena Keser graduated in 2003 at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, study Food Technology, course Nutrition. In the same year she started to work as a professional associate, and then as a research fellow in a Laboratory for Nutrition Science at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb. In 2010 she received a PhD degree with PhD thesis titled “Association of serum folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels with bone mineral density in elderly women”. She became an assistant professor in 2015. In her former scientific work she deals with the assessment of diet quality of different population groups, especially the elderly, and the influence of diet on bone mineral density. She has participated in two scientific projects of Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, and two professional projects. As coauthor she published 12 scientific papers from a1 group, 2 from a2 group, and 6 scientific papers in international conference proceedings. During 2009 and 2011 she attended scientific training at the Human Nutrition & Metabolism Research and Training Center, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Karl-Franzens University in Graz, Austria. She participates in teaching on courses of undergraduate, graduate, and PhD studies Nutrition at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb (Nutrition Science 1, Nutrition Science 2, Obesity and underweight, Nutrition and aging, Methods for diet quality assessment, Nutrition and bone health).
- Katalin Ludvig, M. Sc.
Rural Development Specialist
FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
Ms Katalin Ludvig holds a Master degree in Horticulture and in Economics, and gained experience on economics and development studies at the Ohio State University (USA) as well. Her main technical field is rural development. She started her professional career at a private company on project management. Subsequently she worked four years at the Research Institute for Agricultural Economics in Budapest, Hungary, where her main research field was rural development policy with special attention to the European Union policies, rural employment and income diversification.
In 2008 she joined to the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as a Junior Technical Officer for Rural Development and Policy. Currently she works there as a Rural Development Specialist and Deputy Regional Initiative Delivery Manager for Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms. She contributes to the development of the Regional Initiative Programme on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms and provides support in its implementation. She has been working on donor or FAO funded projects in the region including the South-East European countries, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan for nine years.
- Sara Mikrut Vunjak, LL.M.
Senior Adviser for Communication and PR
Croatian Food Agency
She is working in the Croatian Food Agency for more than seven years, as a Senior Adviser for Communication and Public Relations. She graduated from the Faculty of Law in Osijek, after which she was educated in the field of public relations. She graduated from the London School of Public Relations (LSPR) and currently is a doctoral student of European Studies at the University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in Osijek.
She was the National Coordinator of the IPA pre-accession program Preparations for participation of candidate countries and potential candidate countries in the work of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), from 2012 to the end of the program.
In the period from 2010 – 2016, she was a member of EFSA Advisory Forum Working Group on Communications (AFCWG), and today the Croatian Representative in EFSA CEN (Communication Expert Network).
The area of her professional and scientific work is: planning, development and implementation of communication strategies, communication management in crisis situations, research on consumer perception, developing of communication campaigns and scientific event management related to the area of risk communication in food safety. Related to the field of her professional work, she attended, and participated as a lecturer at workshops organized by EFSA and EC (TAIEX).
She is a member of the Croatian Public Relations Association. She speaks English, Italian and French, and has a working knowledge of German language.
- Anđelko Milardović, PhD
Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies
Anđelko Milardović, PhD, got his B.A. (1981) and M.Sc. (1986) at Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb. He got his PhD in 1987, at Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. He acquired additional education in Gottingen (1987.), Bonn (1991.), Vienna (1994.) and Heidelberg (1994.). From 1994 to 2002 he was the founder, director and editor of publishing house Pan Liber (Osijek). He is also the founder and director of Political Science research Centre (Zagreb), and from 1987 he is Research Adviser at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (Zagreb).
He also worked as lecturer on course „Political marketing “(2012, Faculty of Economics in Osijek), and lecturer on course „Introduction to politology“ (2012, School of Public Relations and Media Kairos, Zagreb). He was also convener of the courses Political Science, History of Political Ideas and Contemporary Political Ideas and ideologies, University of Dubrovnik (2004) and the convener of the courses Political Science, Sociology of Politics and Contemporary Political Ideas and ideologies, Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb, (1997).
He also worked on several projects:
- Intercultural approach to ethnic diversity and identity: Croatia – Europe (IMIN, 2008-2012, head: Dr. Jadranka Čačić-Kumpes)
- Globalization of politics and reflection on the Croatian society and the State of 21st century (Poetical Research Center Zagreb, 2008-201; head)
- Croatia in the Globalization Process – reflection and anticipation of the future (Center for Political Research Zagreb, 2003-2006, head: Jasmina Lažnjak)
- Minorities in the Globalization Process (IMIN, 1997-2002; head)
Selected bibliography: http://bib.irb.hr/lista-radova?autor=136492
- Darja Sokolić, PhD, scientific assistant
Head Of Department for Data Management and Nutrition
Croatian Food Agency (HAH)
Darja Sokolić, PhD, Scientific Assistant, is a Head of Department for Data Management and Nutrition in Croatian Food Agency. She graduated in 1994 at the Faculty of Food Technology. In 2013, she got her doctoral title at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology in Zagreb. During her professional career, she attended a great number of trainings in the field of process management, quality and food safety and project management. She has published a dozen scientific papers and participated in numerous international and national conferences. She was a coordinator/associate on more than 20 national and international scientific and expert projects, where one of the most significant projects was the FP7 TDS Exposure (2012-2015). She is a member of the EFSA Working Group on Food Consumption Data and several committees at the Ministries related to legislation in the field of food safety. Since 2010, she was appointed as WHO INFOSAN Network Focal Point for Croatia.
Current focus of her professional work includes the collection and generation of data relevant to the risk assessment of contaminants originating from food, with an emphasis on national research on dietary habits and food consumption. She was project manager of the first national food consumption survey on adult population in Croatia (2011-2012). She is the project manager of the first national food consumption survey on infants, toddlers and young children (2012.-2017.), which is financed by EFSA.
- Ivan-Krešimir Svetec, PhD
Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb
Ivan-Krešimir Svetec, PhD, Full professor at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb was born on 5th January 1971 in Split. He received his B.Sc. degree in 1995 and his PhD degree in the area of biotechnical sciences in 2005 at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb. He received his Masters degree in natural sciences, Faculty of Scinece, University of Zagreb. He is the Head of Laboratory for Biology and Genetics of Microorganisms of the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Head of Graduate university study programme Molecular Biotechnology and Lecturer in charge of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Genetics of Eukaryotes and GMO in Food Production. He has participated in several scientific-research projects funded by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, he was a mentor of EU funded project and currently is an associate on a project funded by the Croatian Science Foundation.
He acquired additional education at Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, U571 (Paris, France) and Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (Split, Croatia). He took part at numerous scientific seminars in country and abroad and received several awards and recognitions. He is the member of Committee for contained use of genetically modified organisms (Ministry of Health and Social Care) and the member of Panel on Genetically Modified Food and Feed (Croatian Food Agency). He is also a member or president of the governing bodies of several scientific and professional associations and founder of the Croatian Association of Genetic Engineers.
- Assist. Prof. Mirjana Turkalj, MD, PhD
Children’s hospital Srebrnjak
Assist. Prof. Mirjana Turkalj, MD, PhD was born in 1963 in Slavonski Brod. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb in 1987. Since 1998 she has been a pediatric specialist, since 2005 a subspecialist in allergology and clinical immunology and since 2014 a docent at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Osijek. She was elected as a Scientific Assistant Professor in 2015 at the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb. The professional title of an extraordinary professor was acquired in 2017 at the Croatian Catholic University.
She works as a pediatric subspecialist at Children’s Hospital Srebrnjak in Zagreb. She is a Head of the Clinical Allergology Center of the Croatian Ministry of Health’s Reference Center and head of GA2LEN, the European Center for Excellence for Asthma and Allergies for Children. She is a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Zagreb (Integrated Medicine Study in English; “Basics of Pediatric Allergy”), at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology (“Immunology for nutritionists”), at the “Pediatrics” course at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Osijek, at the Croatian School of Nursing (“Pediatrics”) and at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry (“Pathomechanisms and Diagnosis of Allergic Diseases”).
She is head of the 2 FP7 European project.
She had a professional training at the University Clinic (LHK), Graz, Austria, prof. M. Varga, 2000, at Children’s Hospital Cincinnati, USA, prof. M. Rothenberg, 2001 and Odessa, Denmark; Allergy center, prof. J. Brindslev-Jensen, 2008.
She is a member of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the Croatian Medical Association, the Croatian Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology, the Croatian Society of Pediatricians, Croatian Society for Pediatric Pathology, Croatian Society for Health Ecology, Croatian Society for Human Genetics and Croatian Association of Sports Medicine.
She wrote over 140 papers, 26 of which were indexed in CC journals. She actively participates in domestic and international congresses, where she has written and presented more than 100 abstracts.
- Zdravko Tušek, MBc Crop production
general Croatian Advisory service
Born 6th of June 1974 Mr. Zdravko Tušek graduated 2002. at Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, MBc Crop production. He is a senior expert with over 15 years of relevant professional experiences in agriculture sector (agricultural advisory service; agricultural policy; development and harmonization of national agricultural subsidy schemes; implementation of EU Common Agricultural Policy) as well as in design, establishment and management of tools for CAP implementation (Paying agency, IACS, LPIS and other SW solutions). His responsibility also included the establishment and maintenance of communication flows between Ministry of Agriculture, Managing Authority, Certifying Body, European Commission (DG Agri), European Court of Auditors, and other European bodies.
He has broad professional and practical experience in institutional development and capacity building of administration regarding payment systems (setting up agricultural paying agency; SAPARD/IPARD, EAGF and EAFRD, IACS and LPIS), especially in implementation and applying accreditation criteria for paying agencies.
In period from 2009 till 2014 he was assistant director of the Croatian Paying agency, where he was responsible for design, development, implementation and management of EU pre-accession funds (SAPARD and IPARD), EAGF and EAFRD funds, including EU administration standards (IACS /LPIS system), and internal control management.
He collected experiences in Croatia and other Member States as well as in EU candidate countries. Mr. Tušek worked as senior expert in number of international projects, in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Turkey, Kosovo and Serbia in the field of CAP, payment systems in agriculture and rural development and IACS/LPIS systems.
From December 2016, he is director general, responsible for managing Croatian Advisory service (for agriculture and forestry). His main task is establishment and management of the system of counseling of farmers, foresters and fishermen.
He is fluent in written and spoken English with communication, organizational, analytical, management, negotiation and reporting skills as well as an extensive experience in conducting meetings, training and seminars.
- Liisa Valsta, PhD
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Research Manager, Adjunct Professor, PhD (Human nutrition, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland), MSc in Food Science and Technology/Food Toxicology (Oregon State University, the U.S.). Her research interests have been in dietary interventions studying associations between diet (quality of fat and carbohydrates) and chronic disease risk factors, in dietary monitoring methodologies, food information, as well in nutritional risk assessment. Since 1991, she works as a scientist at the National Public Health Institute of Finland (since 2009 the National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL) in the Nutrition Unit. In addition, since 2001, she serves as an Adjunct Professor in Human Nutrition at the University of Helsinki. Between 2009-2014 she served as a Senior Scientific Officer at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Evidence Management Unit (DATA) e.g. coordinating the harmonisation of European dietary surveys through the EFSA EU Menu initiative. Since 2015 she is coordinating the Nordic Food Analyses Network and other Nordic projects. She has over 100 peer-reviewed and 80 other publications on monitoring nutrition and health, human dietary interventions, as well as food composition.
- Valentina Zoretić-Rubes, M.Sc.
Head of the Department for Epidemiology and GMO
Ministry of Health
Valentina Zoretić-Rubes was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but spent most of her childhood in small city of Jastrebarsko. She went there in primary school, only to find herself back in Zagreb later on, attending Medical high-school. She studied at Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology in Zagreb where she graduated in the course of Biotechnology engineering in 1995. She also took part in professional study of Analytics and foodstuff microbiology.
Her first job was in chemical factory “Labud d.o.o. Zagreb”, as an engineer of development and application of washing, cleaning and disinfection tools used by industry, but also as an engineer-supervisor for same used tools in project “Antiseptica”, which was mainly intended for medical facilities. From September 2005 she works in Croatian Ministry of Health as a senior sanitary inspector for Administration of sanitary inspection, in a field orientated towards food and especially towards additives, aromas, pesticides, novel food, GM food and animal food. In 2007 after Ministry reorganization, she found herself in a new position- as a head of GMO department. From the 1st June of 2017 the Epidemiology and GMO service are under her control.
She also completed several dozens of foreign and home educational courses based on estimating risk assessment and taking certain actions in a field of pesticides, novel foods, GMO, health safety of food, introducing and controlling HACCP system, but also in a course considering Health-Care of the population from out broke diseases.
She is also a member of European commission working group, where she deals with interactions and intercourses between GMO and pharmaceutical legislations. Currently, Valentina is a national representative in EK Standing Committee (Standing Committee of plant, animal food and feed,-Section of genetically modified food and feed and deliberate release of GMOs, Regulatory Committee under Directive (EC)2001/18 Regulatory Commiittee under Directive 2009/41/EC), and also presents focal point for FAO in GMO field. What is more, Valentina had her share in the making of Directive (EU) 412/2015 and Regulation (EU)2183/2015 about new food, as a Croatian national representative. During negotiations she was a member of Working group adressed in preparing everything for negotiations- legal acquisitions of European Union, both Chapter 12.- Safety of food, veterinary medicine, fitosanitary protection, and Chapter 23.- Environment.
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