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How EFSA can prepare itself for the challenges of tomorrow by CPES

CPES recently supported a working paper outlining a series of risk assessment reforms which would improve how the EFSA handles science in determining food safety. We believe that there are a lot of things which EFSA can do to make sure in future it maintains – and even develops – its credibility and expertise.

We propose the following steps:

1. Commit to transparency and reproducibility in risk assessments

Objectivity in science can only be delivered by transparency and reproducibility. With the proper methodologies in place, the identity, interests and biases of an individual or group who carries out assessment work become less important. The most important factor instead becomes whether the methodology was followed correctly. If it was, then in theory the same verdict should be reached, whoever carries out the assessment. Therefore we would like to see explicit guidelines for the conduct of EFSA scientific reviews, opinions and risk assessments

2. Broaden its base of scientific expertise

EFSA expert panels have come under criticism for having too narrow a range of expertise. At a minimum, the following types of experts should be actively sought out and invited to serve on EFSA expert panels assessing human health risks: embryologists, endocrinologists, neurologists, neurodevelopment specialists, reproductive biologists, human geneticists, paediatricians and other clinicians and epidemiologists.

Read here a detailed overview of these steps.

Originally posted on 11 December 2012

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