Applications helpdesk – support for scientific evaluation of regulated products and claims
EFSA’s Applications Helpdesk acts as a front office and support desk for the safety assessment of regulated products, substances and processes, and the substantiation of claims submitted for authorisation in the European Union (EU).
The Helpdesk was created because a growing part of EFSA’s work relates to delivering scientific assessments in these areas. The service is also responsible for centralising and processing the initial administrative steps of all applications. This includes reception, registration and verifying the administrative and basic scientific completeness of the information in the submitted application.
Many food and feed related products require scientific risk assessment by EFSA before they can be permitted for use on the EU market. ‘Regulated products’ include substances used in feed and food (such as additives, enzymes, flavourings, nutrient sources), food contact materials and pesticides, GMOs, food manufacturing processes and processing aids. The scientific substantiation of nutrition and health claims is also assessed by EFSA prior to their market approval. EFSA does not grant market authorisation but provides independent scientific advice and a solid scientific foundation to underpin the market authorisation decisions taken by EU Member States and the European Commission.
EFSA’s work in relation to the scientific evaluation of regulated product applications is carried out by its scientific panels of independent experts and by the scientific staff working in EFSA's scientific units.