EFSA seeks new experts to join two Scientific Panels

EFSA would like scientific experts with experience of chemical risk assessment who are interested in making a difference to European food safety, to apply to join two of its Scientific Panels and be a part of Europe’s network of top food safety scientists. EFSA’s experts help to protect European consumers by delivering high-calibre scientific advice to European decision-makers on possible health risks associated with the food chain. Scientific experts in areas such as toxicology, chemistry, and dietary exposure assessment, are invited to apply for membership of EFSA’s Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel) and the Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) in 2014. EFSA’s call for expressions of interest is open until 17 June 2013.

Dr Iona Pratt, a toxicologist and current Chair of the CEF Panel, outlined her reasons for being an EFSA expert: “We discuss state-of-the-art scientific data in multi-disciplinary groups so we learn the perspectives of other scientists. My work at EFSA is also of great benefit to my work at national level because it can be applied to national food safety issues.”

The Chair of the ANS Panel Dr Alicja Mortensen, Senior Scientist on toxicology and risk assessment at the Technical University of Denmark, added: “Reviewing new data and contributing to joint scientific decision-making are key for me but the most important reason of all is making a difference to European food safety, contributing to the health and well-being of society.”

EFSA’s Director of Science Strategy and Co-ordination Hubert Deluyker, said, “The ANS and CEF Panels work in important areas such as food additives and food contact materials. EFSA seeks leading scientists who have gained experience in their fields or also as risk assessors through working in universities, research institutions, national food safety authorities and risk assessment bodies in Europe and internationally.”

EFSA’s Scientific Panels deliver their independent scientific advice in the form of scientific opinions. These opinions are published in the EFSA Journal which has been accepted for indexation by leading bibliographic databases including CABI, SciFinder and ISI Web of Science.

Applicants should demonstrate experience in carrying out scientific risk assessment and have proven scientific excellence with a track record in toxicology, toxicity testing, chemistry, dietary exposure assessment, human nutrition, food enzymes including from genetically-modified micro-organisms, and food technology. Selected applicants, who will be offered a three-year mandate, will contribute to delivering the highest quality scientific advice for Europe’s decision makers in the areas of food and feed safety.

Interested experts are invited to apply for EFSA Scientific Panels membership through an online procedure, details of which are available through the link below or through the homepage of EFSA’s website for the duration of the call. The call has also been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Notes to editors
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was set up in January 2002, following a series of food crises in the late 1990s, as an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain. In the European food safety system, risk assessment is done independently from risk management. As the risk assessor, EFSA produces scientific opinions and advice to provide a sound foundation for European policies and legislation and to support the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States in taking effective and timely risk management decisions.
  • The ANS Panel’s work concerns safety assessment of food additives such as colours and sweeteners, nutrient sources added to food (e.g. sources of vitamins and minerals) and other substances deliberately added to food, including for purposes other than technological ones, e.g. with functional properties, but excluding flavourings and food enzymes which are the remit of the CEF Panel.
  • The CEF Panel’s work concerns safety assessment of food contact materials, for example, used in food containers or food packaging; also flavourings and food enzymes, processing aids and some processes (e.g. irradiation of foodstuffs, recycling of plastics for use in food contact materials).
  • The ANS Panel and the CEF Panel perform most of their work in the context of authorisation procedures, since they deal mainly with regulated substances or processes which have to be evaluated by EFSA before their use within the EU can be authorised.
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