Guidance on the use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments
EFSA requested the Scientific Committee to develop a guidance document on the use of the weight of evidence approach in scientific assessments for use in all areas under EFSA's remit. The guidance document addresses the use of weight of evidence approaches in scientific assessments using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Several case studies covering the various areas under EFSA's remit are annexed to the guidance document to illustrate the applicability of the proposed approach. Weight of evidence assessment is defined in this guidance as a process in which evidence is integrated to determine the relative support for possible answers to a question. This document considers the weight of evidence assessment as comprising three basic steps: (1) assembling the evidence into lines of evidence of similar type, (2) weighing the evidence, (3) integrating the evidence. The present document identifies reliability, relevance and consistency as three basic considerations for weighing evidence.