Outcome of the targeted consultation of the EFSA Journal editorial on increasing openness, robustness and transparency of scientific assessments
A number of projects have recently started at EFSA to address individual and cross-cutting methodological issues within the whole scientific assessment landscape. All these activities aim to contribute to producing more robust, transparent and open scientific assessments in line with the recent discussion paper on Transformation to an “Open EFSA” as a means of consulting on how it will improve the overall quality of available information and data used for its outputs and comply with normative and societal expectations of openness. These activities include: 1. PROMETHEUS (“Promoting MeTHods for Evidence Use in Scientific assessments”) project from the Assessment Methodological Unit (AMU) supporting the coordination and consistency of all EFSA projects that aim at developing or refining methodological approaches and 2. Three priority topics identified by EFSA’s Scientific Committee for guidance developments; a. characterisation of uncertainties in risk assessment b. identification of biological relevance of adverse/positive health effects from experimental animal and human studies; c. Use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments. In this context, EFSA requested the Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks (SCER) Unit to perform a targeted consultation of national and international scientific advisory bodies on these four activities described in an EFSA Journal editorial on increasing robustness, transparency and openness of scientific assessments and a background document describing each project. The targeted consultation aimed specifically at gathering general comments, specific comments on the proposed terms of reference for each activity, and identifying relevant scientific activities. This technical report addresses the comments received from the targeted consultation exercise.