The Federal Insitute for Risk Assessment (BfR) was set up in November 2002 to strengthen consumer health protection. It is the scientific agency of the Federal Republic of Germany which is responsible for preparing expert reports and opinions on food and feed safety as well as on the safety of substances and products. With regard to nanotechnology BfR assesses nanomaterials or products containing the latter and takes position in the public debate. BfR reports to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It enjoys independence in respect of its scientific assessments and research.