EFSA launches draft Science Strategy 2012-2016 for public consultation

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a public consultation on its draft Science Strategy 2012-2016. The document explains the scientific contribution EFSA will make to the European food safety system over the next five years, laying down strategic objectives to further drive scientific excellence and quality and optimise risk assessment capacity across the EU. All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to provide comments on the draft strategy through an online public consultation that runs until 21 November 2011.

Since EFSA’s founding in 2002, advances in science and technology and ongoing developments in European legislation related to the Authority’s work have resulted in notable changes to the environment in which it operates. These evolutions are reflected in EFSA’s scientific work programme which, in recent years, has seen a shift in emphasis towards the evaluation of regulated products and where the assessment of environmental risk, risk-benefit and post-market monitoring have become more prominent. EFSA’s draft Science Strategy 2012-2016 explores the drivers for progress and change and identifies how the organisation will meet these challenges while continuing to deliver the high quality scientific advice it provides on core public health issues and emerging risks.

The draft Science Strategy focuses on four key objectives: to further develop EFSA’s scientific excellence and its other core values of independence, openness, transparency and responsiveness; to optimise the use of European risk assessment capacity across the EU; to develop and harmonise risk assessment methodologies and approaches for assessing risks associated with the food chain; and to strengthen the scientific basis for risk assessment and risk monitoring.

The draft Science Strategy has been guided by and complements EFSA’s corporate Strategic Plan for 2009-2013 and has been through a process of consultation with staff, partner European institutions, national authorities and EFSA’s Scientific Committee and Advisory Forum. It is also scheduled for discussion with EFSA’s Stakeholder Consultative Platform at their next meeting on 17/18 November 2011.

The online public consultation runs until 21 November 2011. Feedback from the consultation will be compiled in a report and, where appropriate, incorporated into a revised draft of the strategy to be presented to the EFSA Management Board for possible adoption before the end of 2011.

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