Two of EFSA’s key Scientific Panels recently renewed their membership for a three-year term starting from 1 July 2014. Dr Alicja Mortensen was re-elected Chair of the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) after successfully guiding the expert group for the past two years. Her two Vice-Chairs are Dr Claude Lambré and Prof. Ruud Woutersen. Prof Vittorio Silano was elected Chair of the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) with Dr Wim Mennes and Dr Detlef Woelfle as Vice-Chairs. Prof Silano is one of EFSA’s most highly regarded experts and the former Chair of EFSA’s Scientific Committee.
The two Panels have challenging work programmes to deal during their mandates:
The ANS Panel deals with questions of safety in the use of food additives, nutrient sources and other substances deliberately added to food, excluding flavourings and enzymes. The Panel is midway through the re-evaluation of hundreds of currently authorised food additives. Further progress between now and 2017 is critical in meeting the scheduled target for completion of this re-evaluation programme by 2020.
The CEF Panel deals with questions on the safety of use of food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids, and also with questions related to the safety of plastic recycling processes. The Panel is expecting a major increase in the number of opinions on food enzymes and has strengthened its expertise in this area with the addition of two enzymologists to the team. The first major challenge for the Panel will be to finalise its opinion on bisphenol A (BPA), which is currently scheduled for the end of 2014.