EFSA pays tribute to Dr Iona Pratt

Staff and scientific experts at the European Food Safety Authority were deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of Dr Iona Pratt, the chair of the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (the CEF Panel), on 12 February 2014 and pay special tribute to the extraordinary commitment she made in all her work in protecting the health of consumers across Europe and in her lifelong contribution to public service.

Iona was among the very first scientists to give willingly of their time to work with EFSA and was a member of the Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing aids and Materials in contact with Food (the AFC Panel) from 2003 to 2008. She continued to share her extensive knowledge of toxicology and risk assessment as a member of the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (the ANS Panel) from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as chair of the CEF Panel. As a Panel chair, Iona was also a valued member of EFSA’s Scientific Committee. She was a role model for all female scientists and EFSA was delighted when she supported its drive to encourage more female scientists to join its Panels. In a career spanning 50 years, Iona was appointed to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in 2002 as Chief Specialist in Toxicology after spending most of her working life with Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority.

“Iona was held in the highest regard in EFSA and the wider scientific community and her expertise was widely recognised. Her extensive knowledge of toxicology and risk assessment was much in demand and at EFSA we were delighted that she could spend such a significant amount of her time contributing to our work. The scientific community is poorer for Iona’s passing but her legacy of scientific excellence, commitment and public spiritedness remains with us,” EFSA’s acting Executive Director Bernhard Url said in a message of condolence to her family. “Her intelligence, vibrant personality and good humour will be sorely missed in Parma