EU Parliament’s ENVI committee must vote to end secrecy around food safety assessments
PRESS STATEMENT - 26.11.2018
On 27 November, the European Parliament’s committee on the Environment and Food Safety (ENVI) has a unique chance to make risk assessment in the food chain more transparent.
In April, the Commission published plans to update the General Food Law to require EFSA to publish the non-confidential parts of industry-funded studies that support safety evaluations of products such as pesticides, food additives or novel foods for instance.
The move came as a response to the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Ban Glyphosate’, which saw over a million Europeans call on the EU to increase the transparency of EFSA scientific assessments. Under EU law, industry must prove its products are safe before it can put them on the market. But today, the studies industry pays for and submits to EFSA as part of a product authorisation request remain secret.
Ahead of the vote, BEUC Director General Monique Goyens commented:
"We urge members of the ENVI committee to stand by consumers and vote to ensure that all safety tests on food additives, pesticides, flavourings or GMOs are published as soon as they have been submitted to EFSA.
“Public controversies around glyphosate, aspartame or bisphenol A have shaken consumer confidence in the way the EU regulates food safety. Allowing independent scientific scrutiny of EFSA risk assessments is essential to rebuild trust.
“Yet the Commission should have gone the extra mile and proposed to not only increase transparency of scientific assessment, but also to lift the lid on the political choices which are made to address the risks identified by EFSA. We count on MEPs to fill the gap and call for more transparency in risk management. Consumers must be able to assure themselves that EU policy-makers put their health and safety first when they vote to allow new pesticides or novel foods onto the market.”
- BEUC policy position on the Commission’s proposal on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain