The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an agency of the European Union (EU) established in 2002 and based in in Parma, Italy that provides independent scientific advice and communicates on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain has renewed the memberships of eight of its scientific Panels and its Scientific Committee, boosting its scientific excellence with a new intake of experts. The 167 scientists – about half of whom are joining EFSA for the first time – will start their three-year term on 1 July 2015.
“We have attracted very highly qualified scientists from across Europe that will make a difference to Europe’s food safety system,” said Dr Tobin Robinson, Head of EFSA’s Science Strategy and Coordination Department. “Many of the new members come from universities and research institutes, meaning that there is a growing awareness of EFSA’s work in academic circles”.
The Authority’s Scientific Committee and Panels are renewed every three years, with current members either replaced or re-appointed. Experts are selected through a rigorous procedure, based on proven scientific excellence and independence.
The inaugural meetings of the experts’ three-year mandate will take place at the beginning of July at EFSA’s premises in Parma. During these meetings, experts are informed about EFSA strategy, risk assessment, the Authority’s policy on independence and implementing rules. Each Panel will also meet separately to discuss its future work programmes and elect its Chair and vice-Chairs.
EFSA’s Management Board will appoint some additional experts to replace those that did not accept the appointment or who were not nominated at the March meeting of the Management Board. Their CVs and declarations of interest will be published by the first inaugural meeting on 1-2 July.
• Members of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW)
• Members of the Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ)
• Members of the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM)
• Members of the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP)
• Members of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
• Members of the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)
• Members of the Panel on Plant Health (PLH)
• Members of the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR)
• Members of the Scientific Committee
EFSA noted in a release that its Scientific Committee and Panel comprises of 47% from universities (up from 41% three years ago), 46% from public research institutes and government bodies, 5% are retired from such institutions. With this it has strong expertise present in universities and other public research institutes throughout the European Union as well as from governmental bodies. EFSA is placing greater reliance on working with experts from similar food safety organisations which pursue public health interest objectives.