Openness and transparency have been key values for EFSA since it was established in 2002. As a public body, EFSA is accountable to the people it was set up to serve – the citizens of the European Union, without whose trust and confidence the Authority cannot function effectively.
A new regulation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain, which has been in application since 27 March 2021, strengthens the Authority’s ability to carry out its risk assessment functions in accordance with the highest transparency standards.
During the main implementation phase of the regulation leading up to its entry into application, EFSA liaised closely with stakeholders via a dedicated Sounding Board and a number of technical groups. You can find more information here. EFSA continues to engage with stakeholders and Member States in the early stages of the regulation’s application, providing support through targeted webinars (e.g. application procedure per regulated product area), technical meetings (e.g. Pesticides Steering Network (PSN) IUCLID sub-group), written consultations (e.g. GMO network) and the dedicated LinkedIn group to support applicants. These are complemented by proactive communication on relevant changes, updates and news related to the Transparency Regulation.
EFSA works continually to improve the digital tools available to applicants and other stakeholders. Information on upcoming digital enhancements is available here.
An engagement overview for 2022 is now available to help stakeholders and Member States with their planning. This will be updated regularly.
EFSA is also committed to ensuring that business operators and applicants have all the information and support they need to make a smooth transition to the new environment. Advice, supporting materials, and details about training opportunities are available at the Applicants’ Toolkit section of the EFSA website.
The regulation was introduced with the aim of increasing the transparency of risk assessment in the food chain, to strengthen the reliability, objectivity and independence of the studies submitted to EFSA, and reinforce the governance of EFSA in order to ensure its long-term sustainability. In particular it stipulates that:
- Citizens will have access to studies and information submitted by industry in the risk assessment process. Stakeholders and the general public will also be consulted on submitted studies.
- EFSA will be made aware of all commissioned studies to guarantee that companies applying for authorisations submit all relevant information. The Authority will also offer advice to applicants prior to the submission of dossiers.
- The European Commission may ask EFSA to commission additional studies and may carry out fact-finding missions to verify that laboratories/studies comply with quality standards.
You can find out more about the regulation on the European Commission website.