After a period of silence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) commented on Thursday that its newly appointed management board had selected a number of scientific experts to make up the EFSA's yet to be formed Scientific Committee and Panels. The news brings hope that the core work of the authority is on the cusp of beginning.
After a discussion on the 29 April, the EFSA management board agreed a proposal from the EFSA executive director Geoffrey Podger that nominated a number of scientific experts to make up the Authority's Scientific Committee and Panels. If the scientists chosen take up their nomination, they will be invited to an inaugural meeting on either 21, 22, 26 or 27 May to get the scientific work of EFSA under way immediately.
Stuart Slorach, chairman of the board, commented: "Being able to select from over a thousand scientists made it possible to choose highly qualified experts for our Scientific Committee and Panels."
"Although we were unable to take on board many of the expert applicants, the Scientific Committee and Panels will be establishing working groups and we hope that these scientists will be prepared to assist EFSA's work in such groups as well as in other ways."
According to an EFSA statement, more than 1000 scientists applied for membership of the EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels. Independent external experts Prof Gerard Pascal, from France, and Dr Josep Tarrago, from Spain helped in the selection process together with input from Member State representatives on EFSA's Advisory Forum.
Announcing the nominations on Tuesday, Geoffrey Podger brought further good news to the meeting, reporting that the European Parliament has finally agreed to release sufficient funds for staff. According to Podger, this should enable the EFSA to continue its push to complete the structural development of the authority and bring it to full operational capacity as rapidly as possible.