On December 20, 2017, the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) published a roadmap for “Regulation on transparency and sustainability of the EU food and feed safety risk assessment model,” intending to amend a number of EU regulations relating to food and feed safety.
The roadmap acknowledges that “there are some aspects in the current legislative framework that need to be addressed.” These include the fact that “citizens perceive the risk assessment process (and the decision-making based on it) as opaque and demand more transparency,” partially because “recent debates have raised concerns regarding the transparency and independence of industry-generated studies and data.” Further, risk communication is “considered not to be effective enough, especially in light of the difficulty of communicating science-based risk assessment decisions in an environment characterized by increasing skepticism about the objectivity of scientific findings.” There are also recognized problems with current practices of scientific expert recruitment by EFSA, and insufficient representation of Member States in EFSA’s Management Board.
To tackle these problems, the current initiative aims at “increasing the transparency, the accountability and the sustainability of the related risk assessment process,” and outlines a number of concrete steps to be taken in this regard, particularly for improving the transparency and increasing the involvement of Member States in EFSA’s activities.
The published roadmap is open for public comments until January 17, 2018.
EC (December 20, 2017). “Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain.”
EC (December 20, 2017). “ROADMAP. Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain.” Ref. Ares(2017)6265773 – 20/12/2017 (pdf)