On January 24, 2018, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a “Guidance on uncertainty analysis in scientific assessments” that was developed by its Scientific Committee. The guidance “offers a diverse toolbox of scientific methods and technical tools for uncertainty analysis” and can be “implemented in such diverse areas as plant pests, microbiological hazards and chemical substances,” EFSA explained. Along with the guidance that includes “practical instructions and tips,” EFSA also published a supporting scientific opinion containing “all the detailed scientific reasoning and methods.”

Long-term, the new guidance is intended to become an integral part of all of EFSA’s scientific assessments. It will apply from autumn 2018 (i.e. after the renewal of EFSA’s scientific panels) in general scientific areas. In the field of regulated products, such as pesticides, food additives, or food contact materials, the guidance will be phased in at a later point in time, considering “the experience gained in the ‘non-regulated’ areas,” EFSA noted.

Further, EFSA informed that it is preparing a practical guidance for communication experts on communicating uncertainty to “different target audiences, including the public.” EFSA will hold a public consultation on a draft communication approach in 2018.

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EFSA (January 24, 2018). “New uncertainty approach to make advice ‘more transparent and robust.’


EFSA Scientific Committee (January 24, 2018). “Guidance on uncertainty analysis in scientific assessments.” EFSA Journal 16(1):5123.

EFSA Scientific Committee (January 24, 2018). “The principles and methods behind EFSA’s guidance on uncertainty analysis in scientific assessment.” EFSA Journal 16(1):5122.