Template e-mail answer to the online consultation by EFSA

"Dear Madam or Sir,

 

I am writing to submit a comment to your public consultation on your draft new independence policy, in particular, on section “3. A risk-based approach to prevent the occurrence of conflicts of interest”.

 

I welcome the fact that the EFSA is working on tightening its rules on potential conflict of interests, as was asked repeatedly by the European Parliament. Unfortunately, this draft is still short from achieving these goals. 

 

Indeed the draft is ignoring one of the main demands from the European Parliament, which is that the cooling-off period should apply to “all material interests related to the companies whose products are assessed by the Authority and to any organisations funded by them”1. This should absolutely include the funding (including research funding) of the experts appointed to the agency’s scientific panels. These panels play a major role in assessing the toxicity of potentially dangerous substances to be realised on the European Union's market by the industry. There is no denying that huge economic interests are at stake in this matter and that conflicts of interests might arise within these panels.

 

In addition, a two-year cooling-off period is insufficient and should be increased to a period of five years.

 

1 See The European Parliament's report on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget of the European Food Safety Authority for the financial year 2015

 

Kind regards,

XXX"