Ask EFSA

EFSA welcomes feedback and we answer questions from any party interested in our work. All questions receive an individual response.

EFSA’s role as risk assessor is to provide independent scientific advice on risks linked to food and feed safety. The risk managers in the EU are the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament. They are responsible for adopting and implementing EU food safety legislation, such as the authorisation or ban of substances found in foods. As well as EFSA’s scientific advice, risk managers can take into account factors such as ethical and societal concerns, which fall outside EFSA’s remit.

What is your query about?

Applications for regulated products | Careers at EFSA | Contacts and visits | EU Food Legislation | Food Trade | Media inquiries | Publications/Newsletters | Scientific issues | Website/Technical issues | Working processes


 

Applications for regulated products

Where can I find information about applications for regulated products?

You can find information about applications in the fields of animal by-products, decontamination, feed additives, food contact materials, regulated food ingredients, food processing, genetic modification, nutrition and pesticides in the Applications helpdesk section of this website.

 

Careers at EFSA

1. What are the employment opportunities at EFSA?

EFSA has staff in a range of scientific, communications, administrative and secretarial roles across its departments.

All employment opportunities are advertised on the EFSA Careers portal and included in the weekly e-newsletter, EFSA Highlights.

2. How can I apply for a job at EFSA?

To apply for a job you need to complete an online application for each vacancy by using the online tool. This is the only acceptable means of submitting an application. EFSA does not consider spontaneous applications whether received by post, email or fax. Unsolicited/spontaneous applications will not receive a response.

3. How can I check the status of my application?

If you have already applied for a job, please consult the status of recruitment procedures.

If you are interested in a career in EFSA and would like to gain more information on the recruitment process and conditions of employment please consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form

 

Contacts and visits

1. Where can I find the contact information for EFSA staff?

EFSA publishes on its website the contact details of its senior managers, who support the Executive Director in the day-to-day management of the agency. For general contact information see the Contact us page.

2. Where can I find contact information for experts working for EFSA?

In line with the rules on protection of personal data, EFSA does not provide the contact details of its experts. The names of all members of EFSA’s scientific panels and working groups are published on our website in the Scientific Panels and Units section. Relevant occupational and affiliation details of all EFSA experts are provided in their declarations of interests. In addition, a CV is published for each panel member.

3. Do you welcome visitors from organisations or schools?

EFSA does in principle welcome visitor groups. However, the visit should be directly related to EFSA’s risk assessment activities. The group should not include more than 25 people. To request a visit, fill in the online form, stating clearly the subject of interest, the size of your group and whether you will bring an interpreter with you. Each request will be considered individually.

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form

 

EU Food Legislation

Where can I find information on EU food safety legislation?

EFSA is not responsible for establishing food safety legislation or for its enforcement. The European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the national authorities in each Member State are responsible for establishing and/or enforcing EU food safety legislation. EFSA’s role as risk assessor is to provide independent scientific advice on risks linked to food and feed safety to help EU risk managers make their final decisions.

For information about EU legislation on food safety please refer to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE):

For questions related to the environment you may wish to contact the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment or, for more general questions, the Europa website.

You can also contact the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament.

All legal texts and the Official Journal of the European Union are available in the EUR-LEX database.

 

Food Trade

Where can I find information on food trade, imports and exports?

EFSA does not deal with food trade matters, import conditions or related commercial issues. The European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the national authorities in each Member State are responsible for establishing and implementing rules and standards in this field.

More information about:

For specific enquiries, please contact the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE):

You may also contact the customs offices in your country for information regarding food export and required certificates.

 

Media inquiries

I am a journalist and have a question for EFSA. Who should I contact?

Members of the press should contact the EFSA Press Office directly by email press [at] efsa.europa.eu or by phone.

 

Publications/Newsletters

1. In which languages do you publish information?

EFSA disseminates information of significant public interest in English, French, German and Italian. The four working languages are used for key policy documents, press releases, selected online information and corporate publications.

2. How do I obtain EFSA publications or information material?

All EFSA’s publications are free of charge in electronic format (PDF) and can be found on this website.

For printed copies, please consult the EFSA Publications Catalogue. It specifies whether a document is free of charge or available by print on demand and therefore incurs a charge.

To order printed copies of free of charge publications, an order form (PDF) is available.

Hard copies of print-on-demand publications can be ordered through the website of the EU Bookshop.

To find a specific publication in the EU Bookshop website, enter either the name or the catalogue number of the desired document in the search box of the homepage. The catalogue number for each title can be found on this website or in the catalogue. If a publication is available in more than one language, remember to replace the asterisks (**) in the catalogue number with the language code of the desired publication (example: TMAB13001**C becomes TMAB13001ENC for a copy in English).

3. How do I subscribe to EFSA’s newsletters?

EFSA highlights is a free weekly e-newsletter featuring what’s new on the EFSA website.

4. What is the EFSA Journal?

The EFSA Journal is an open-access online scientific journal containing all published scientific outputs from EFSA’s wide body of scientific work, covering food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection. Available free of charge, it can be found on a dedicated part of the EFSA website. Each issue contains the scientific outputs published by EFSA in a given month. For the most recently published outputs, consult the ‘Just published’ section. For all EFSA scientific outputs published in the previous month, visit the ‘Latest issue’. Older out puts can be found in the section ‘All issues’. The section ‘About the Journal’ provides information on the Journal’s editorial policy, the editorial board and how to subscribe.

The EFSA Journal neither accepts nor commissions third party content.

5. Why was the EFSA Journal created?

The EFSA Journal was created to raise the authority’s scientific visibility, and acknowledge the work of EFSA’s experts more visibly among their peers and wider scientific audiences internationally. By housing the journal in one dedicated web space, EFSA has made the scientific outputs even more accessible than before.

EFSA is planning to further develop the journal and add new functions and tools.

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form

 

Scientific issues

1. Where can I find a risk assessment or a document on a particular scientific issue?

EFSA publishes all its scientific documents in the EFSA Journal. The majority of our documents are scientific opinions, so if you do not know which type of document you are looking for, start by searching the scientific opinions.

2. Where can I find information on upcoming, ongoing and finalised scientific work?

You can see all the requests for scientific work received by EFSA and the status of each one in the Register of Questions database.

The Scientific Committee and Panels section of this website contains scientific outputs and meeting agendas/minutes detailing the work of each panel and its working groups. All EFSA documents are published online as soon as they are publicly available and cannot be provided in advance.

3. Where can I find documents published by the former scientific committees before EFSA was established?

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form

 

Website/Technical issues

1. Can I link to EFSA’s website from my website?

Yes, you can place a link on your website without formal permission. However, all links to the EFSA website are subject to certain conditions – please consult the EFSA linking policy.

2. Do you place external links on your website upon request?

No, EFSA does not accept requests to place external links on our website. Links to other websites are made solely based on their relevance to the content on the EFSA website.

3. I cannot open a file on the webpage. Can you help me?

Most files on EFSA’s website are either PDFs or Excel files. The size of the file and/or your internet connection will affect the download time. If a file does not open, please try again later, as there might be a temporary problem with your internet connection.

4. Do you sell advertising space on your website?

As a public EU body, EFSA does not include any form of commercial advertising on its website or in its newsletters.

5. I have a problem opening the database of health claims

You need Microsoft Access 2003 or a later version to view the database. The file cannot be opened with an older version of Access or, for example, MS Wizard. To open the file, please click through any security warnings as the file is safe to open.

6. How do I find the information I am looking for on the EFSA website?

For information about EFSA’s activities on a specific issue, use the site search, or search the standalone Register of Questions database, which contains all requests received by EFSA, including the status of each one.

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form

 

Working processes

1. Where can I find information on upcoming, ongoing and finalised scientific work?

You can consult all the requests for scientific work received by EFSA and the status of each one in the Register of Questions database.

The Scientific Committee and Panels section of this website contains scientific outputs and meeting agendas/minutes detailing the work of each panel and its working groups. All EFSA documents are published online as soon as they are publicly available and cannot be provided in advance.

2. Where can I find information on experts working for EFSA?

The names and professional involvements of all members of EFSA’s scientific panels and working groups are published in the Declarations of Interests database. The database also includes a CV for each panel member. Please note that in line with the rules on protection of personal data, EFSA does not provide the contact details of its experts.

3. How does EFSA safeguard the independence of its experts?

All members of EFSA’s scientific panels and working groups are required to comply with EFSA’s Decision on Competing Interest Management (PDF). All experts working for EFSA submit an annual declaration of interests, which is made publicly available online, and also declare any potential additional conflicting interests in advance of each meeting.

4. How can I find out which experts worked on a scientific opinion?

All scientific opinions include the names of the members of the responsible panel and of the working group members.

5. Are the Panels involved in making regulatory decisions or recommendations?

No, EFSA is not responsible for establishing food safety legislation. This is the responsibility of the EU legislator – the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the national authorities in each Member State, as appropriate.

6. How do I become an EFSA expert?

There are several opportunities to become an EFSA expert.

You can join as a member of the Scientific Committee and the scientific panels. These are scientists specialised in the remit of the Scientific Committee or of one of the scientific panels and are selected and appointed in their personal capacity. EFSA’s procedures for selecting experts are set out in the decision on the selection of experts. The membership of EFSA’s Scientific Committee and panels is renewed every three years; experts may serve a maximum of three terms of office. At least one year before their re-establishment, EFSA publishes an open call for applications from scientific experts specialised in the fields within the remit of EFSA’s Scientific Committee and panels. EFSA follows a detailed selection procedure set out in a decision of the EFSA Executive Director. The Management Board nominates the new Scientific Committee and panel members, based on a shortlist submitted by the Executive Director. The number of members of a panel depends on the workload planned for the relevant term of office and the expertise needed.

Another way of becoming an EFSA expert is to join a working group, which can include external specialists who are not panel members and possess specific scientific knowledge relevant to a particular mandate or task.

Hearing experts

Finally, professionals with relevant experience, knowledge, data or information on a given topic may be invited to provide their input as hearing experts in ad hoc hearings or sessions of EFSA’s Scientific Committee, scientific panels or working groups. Hearing experts are not members of the scientific bodies, have no voting rights and do not draft EFSA’s scientific outputs.

7. How can our organisation network with partner organisations in Member States or collaborate under Article 36 (e.g. applying for calls for proposals launched by EFSA)?

EFSA has since 2006 established a list of competent organisations designated by Member States, which include over 300 governmental, public institutes, universities and other scientific bodies active in fields within EFSA’s remit.

They may carry out various tasks to assist EFSA with its mission, in particular preparatory work for scientific opinions, scientific and technical assistance, collection of data, and identification of emerging risks. Some of these tasks may be eligible for financial support (specifically via grants/calls for proposals).

Competent organisations designated by Member States may be included on a list upon approval by EFSA’s Management Board. The list is updated regularly and is available on EFSA’s website.

Only the competent organisations on the list are eligible for EFSA grants. Scientific projects can also take place also via public procurement procedures (tenders).

Interested organisations for joining the list should contact their national Focal Point.

8. How does EFSA produce a scientific opinion?

Did we answer your question?

Please read the information above carefully. If you still have a question, please send an enquiry using the Ask EFSA online form.

Ask EFSA online form