The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has said it will open more meetings of its Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels to observers, as part of its ongoing efforts to increase transparency and openness.
The move follows a successful pilot project and opens certain scientific meetings to observers over the next ten months, starting with the meeting of the Biological Hazards Panel on 24-25 October 2012.
Other meetings on the agenda to be accessible to observers are:
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR), 28-29 November 2012;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW), 4-5 December 2012;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Plant Health (PLH), 30-31 January 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Scientific Committee, 5-6 February 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA), 20-21 March 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), 17-18 April 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM), 15-17 May 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF), 28-30 May 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP), 18-20 June 2013;
- Plenary meeting of the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS), 2-4 July 2013.
Guidelines on how to register as an observer are available online here .
EFSA added that not all items of all meetings will be discussed in front of observers, when there is a need to respect confidentiality of certain dossiers, or proprietary data.
“However, the Authority will make efforts to ensure that observers gain a better understanding of how scientific risk assessment works at EFSA and endeavour to provide new opportunities for interaction with EFSA’s scientific experts,” it said.