Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain

Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain

In February 2019 the European Union took an important step forward towards the modernisation of the EU food safety policy.

The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement regarding the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain.

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The main elements of the agreement aim at:

  • Ensuring more transparency: Citizens will have automatic access to all studies and information submitted by industry in the risk assessment process. Stakeholders and the general public will also be consulted on submitted studies. At the same time, the agreement will guarantee confidentiality, in duly justified circumstances, by setting out the type of information that may be considered significantly harmful for commercial interests and therefore cannot be disclosed
  • Increasing the independence of studies: The European Food Safety Authority will be notified of all commissioned studies to guarantee that companies applying for authorisations submit all relevant information and do not hold back unfavourable studies. The Authority will also provide general advice to applicants, in particular SMEs, prior to the submission of the dossier. Commission may ask the Authority to commission additional studies for verification purposes and may perform fact-finding missions to verify the compliance of laboratories/studies with standards
  • Strengthening the governance and the scientific cooperation: Member States, civil society and European Parliament will be involved in the governance of the Authority by being duly represented in its Management Board. Member States will foster the Authority's scientific capacity and engage the best independent experts into its work
  • Developing comprehensive risk communication: A general plan for risk communication will be adopted and will ensure a coherent risk communication strategy throughout the risk analysis process, combined with open dialogue amongst all interested parties.

Next steps

The provisional agreement will now have to formally be adopted both the European Parliament and the Council. 

Background Information

Official Proposal

Consultation

Roadmap

Context

Contact

Directorate D (Food chain: stakeholder and international relations), unit D1: Science, stakeholders, enforcement

Email: SANTE-SCIENCE-TRANSPARENCY@ec.europa.eu