Meeting deadlines cannot be at the price of inferior science: EFSA Management Board confirms commitment to delivering independent, high quality scientific advice in reasonable timeframes

At its first meeting held today in Parma, Italy – the future home of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)- the EFSA Management Board reviewed the Authority’s position on setting reasonable timeframes for its scientific work. The Board endorsed the Authority’s commitment to timely provision of scientific advice. However the principle of meeting deadlines cannot be at the price of inferior science. The meeting also marked an important step in EFSA’s future move to Parma with the signing of the Seat Agreement with Italy.

Today, and for the first time, the EFSA Management Board met in Parma at the Palazzo Ducale, the future representative headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority. At this meeting, the Board endorsed the Authority’s position regarding the setting of appropriate timeframes for its scientific work. The Authority is committed to providing independent scientific advice of the highest quality and communicating findings in a timely manner, in the interest of protecting the European consumer. The Authority is determined to deliver its work against reasonable timeframes in order to meet the needs of its customers and legitimate interests of its stakeholders. However, the principle of meeting deadlines cannot undermine scientific excellence. Furthermore, the Board expressed concern regarding provisions set out in draft legislative proposals which could allow the Commission the possibility of withdrawing EFSA decisions. Members of the Board therefore authorized the chairman to write to the appropriate legislative bodies underlining these concerns of the Authority.

With regards to the future permanent relocation of EFSA to the city of Parma, the Seat Agreement setting out the conditions for the establishement of the European Food Safety Authority in Italy, was formally signed between EFSA and the Italian Governement.

The Board Chairman, Stuart Slorach commented: “We thank the Italian Authorities for acting with commendable speed and efficiency over this negotiation”.

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