ARTICLE | Politics, Policy & Law

Using science to assess food risk

December 17, 2001 8:00 AM UTC

The European Union has created an independent European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that is intended to make the risk evaluation of food more science based. Last week, the European Parliament approved the plans by which the EU hopes to better protect its citizens against disasters like BSE, foot and mouth disease, and other food scandals.

FSA's primary task is to provide risk advice to the Commission, which then will decide on action. According to David Byrne, commissioner for health and consumer safety, the agency will be an autonomous scientific institution independent of any government. It will have its own budget and board of directors comprised of 15 scientists - 14 provided by EU member states and one by the Commission. The board will be assisted by an advisory forum of representatives of different EU food safety agencies...