EFSA response to report of Friends of the Earth Europe regarding risk assessments of the EFSA GMO Panel

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) believes that it fully fulfills its role of providing independent, authoritative advice on issues related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). EFSA is not influenced by commercial or any other interests in this area. EFSA operates precisely in line with the arrangements laid down in its founding Regulation 178/2002* adopted by the Council and the European Parliament. EFSA has also gone further than Regulation 178/2002 in the requirements that it lays down for the declaration of interests of scientific experts, stakeholder consultation and transparency. It follows from this that EFSA does not believe that the report of Friends of the Earth Europe** calls into question the legitimacy of its opinions.

The report from Friends of the Earth Europe has been sent to the Chairman of the EFSA Management Board, Stuart Slorach, who has circulated this to other members of the Board. The matter will be discussed publicly at a Board meeting at the earliest possible opportunity. If time allows, a preliminary discussion will take place at the Board’s next meeting on 16 December 2004.

*REGULATION (EC) No 178/2002 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety
**Friends of the Earth Europe. Throwing caution to the wind. A review of the European Food Safety Authority and its work on genetically modified foods and crops. November 2004.

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