The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced it wishes to receive nominations for "competent scientific organisations" from the 25 member states.
"Some organisations carry out tasks complementary to those of the authority and with which future networking on scientific issues would be advantageous," reports the agency.
The EU Regulation 178/2002 lays down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing EFSA and laying down procedures in matters of food safety.
It includes in Article 36 provisions for networking of organisations operating in the fields within EFSA's mission.
As a result, on 27 July 2005, EFSA's soon to depart executive director, Geoffrey Podger, sent a letter to all permanent representations of all EU Member States initiating the process for the designation of competent organisations by the Member States for a scientific network.
Information about this call, including the legal background and a questionnaire to be completed by organisations wishing to be designated, is available on the EFSA website.
Applications from UK organisations may only be submitted via the Food Standards Agency.
Organisations meeting the EFSA criteria should complete the application form and return it to the FSA by 21 September 2005.