On January 23, 2018, the European Commission (EC) announced a public consultation on “the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain,” inviting feedback from “all stakeholders and EU as well as non-EU citizens.”

The EC emphasized that the food and feed law in the EU is “science-based,” what is known as the “risk analysis principle.” It consists of three components, namely risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was established with the aim to carry out independent risk assessments. However, recently “citizens have put into question the risk assessment based on studies provided by the industry and this in particular where the industry seeks an authorization,” as for example in the case of the herbicide glyphosate.

Therefore, the EC seeks stakeholders’ “views and experiences” on “the transparency and independence of the EU risk assessment system with respect to the underlying industry studies and information on which EFSA’s risk assessment/scientific advice is based.” Further topics of interest are “risk communication” and “the governance of EFSA, in particularly the involvement of the EU Member States (MS) in the EU risk assessment system.”

The consultation is open until March 20, 2018.

Read more

EC (January 23, 2018). “Public Consultation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain.

Dirk Huedig (January 24, 2018). “Restoring trust and effectiveness in EU scientific advice.EurActiv Opinions