EFSA’s Advisory Forum (AF) has backed the agency’s work in a formal statement, with the head of one of the member agencies saying the statement was a reaction to waves of criticism the agency received periodically.
Alan Reilly, the chief executive officer of Food Standards Authority of Ireland (FSAI), told us EFSA had been the recipient of criticism, much of which was not justified over its scientific practices and dealings with stakeholders and the wider public.
“EFSA has been unjustifiably criticised by many detractors,” Reilly said. “That’s why we wanted to put this statement out, to affirm that EFSA’s processes are valid and transparent.”
“They are doing very important work but often receive a bad press from certain NGOs which can be very influential among MEPs who should have information from other sources. EFSA is very transparent.”
“confidence in the independence and scientific decision-making process of EFSA”
In its statement, the AF paid tribute to EFSA (the European Food safety Authority) in its 10 years of existence.
“In the space of a decade European food safety has made resounding progress and to mark this milestone we hereby recognise the crucial contribution EFSA has made. ESFA has enhanced consumer protection, provided vital support to Member States and proved to be a crucial resource in times of food crises.
“The Advisory Forum has confidence in the independence and scientific decision-making process of EFSA and has worked in cooperation with the Authority over the past ten years to strengthen EU risk assessment and all measures to ensure the objectivity of scientific advice.”
“Our members reaffirm their endorsement of the independent experts who contribute to EFSA’s scientific work and the vital role they play in the risk assessment process.”
Reilly said the agency had taken actions like setting up a desk so that stakeholders involved in its processes could form dialogues with the agency’s panel members.