Green light for appointment of EFSA scientists

After a thorough discussion on the 29 April, the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Management Board agreed a proposal from the EFSA Executive Director Geoffrey Podger, nominating a number of scientific experts to make up the Authority’s Scientific Committee and Panels. This paves the way for the core work of the Authority to begin. If the chosen scientists accept their nomination, they will be invited to an inaugural meeting on either 21, 22, 26 or 27 May to get the scientific work of EFSA under way immediately.

Stuart Slorach, Chairman of the Board, was very pleased with the result. ‘Being able to select from over a thousand scientists made it possible to choose highly qualified experts for our Scientific Committee and Panels,’ he said. ‘Although we were unable to take on board many of the expert applicants, the Scientific Committee and Panels will be establishing working groups and we hope that these scientists will be prepared to assist EFSA’s work in such groups as well as in other ways.’

Following an open call for expressions of interest in membership of the EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels, around 1050 scientists applied for membership. A rigorous evaluation process was carried out over a two month period by EFSA staff, and also by independent external experts Prof Gerard Pascal, from France, and Dr Josep Tarrago, from Spain. In addition, input was provided to the process by the Member State representatives on EFSA’s Advisory Forum.

The full list of the chosen scientific experts who accept their nomination will be published as soon as it is complete.

During Geoffrey Podger’s update to the meeting on EFSA developments, he reported that since the last Board meeting, the European Parliament had agreed to release sufficient funds for staff. This will enable EFSA to continue its push to complete the structural development of the Authority and bring it to full operational capacity as rapidly as can be managed. A recruitment drive is now under way.