As the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) celebrates its 10th anniversary, a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Earth Open Source (EOS) questions the independence of its advice.
Conflicts on the menu: a decade of industry influence at the EFSA highlights the agency’s reliance on industry data and industry-linked experts and calls for a complete overhaul of EFSA’s operations.
Nina Holland from CEO said:“Our investigation shows that industry interests have infiltrated the very heart of EFSA. The frequent conflicts of interest on management and advisory panels and the strong reliance on industry studies undermine EFSA’s ability to act in the public interest when it comes to food safety. EFSA’s operations need to be completely overhauled.”
Claire Robinson from EOS added: “EFSA’s reliance on industry studies and dismissal of independent research could place public health at risk. This year EFSA gave in to a request from Monsanto to raise the residue limit for glyphosate in lentils a massive 100-150-fold. That’s nearly six times the safe the safe daily dose established by independent studies – which EFSA ignored.”
The European Commission is scheduled to review EFSA’s founding regulation in 2012 and the European Court of Auditors is expected to publish its investigation into conflicts of interest at EFSA and other EU agencies.