The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has paid tribute to the chair of one of its panels who has died.
Dr Iona Pratt, chair of the panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF), passed away last month while on holiday, aged 73.
Bernhard Url, EFSA’s acting executive director, said Iona was held in high regard at the agency and her expertise was widely recognised.
“Her extensive knowledge of toxicology and risk assessment was much in demand and at EFSA we were delighted that she could spend such a significant amount of her time contributing to our work,” he said.
“The scientific community is poorer for Iona’s passing but her legacy of scientific excellence, commitment and public spiritedness remains with us.”
She was a member of the Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing aids and Materials in contact with Food (the AFC Panel) from 2003 to 2008.
She continued to share her knowledge of toxicology and risk assessment as a member of the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (the ANS Panel) from 2009 to 2011.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) also paid tribute, after Pratt was appointed chief specialist in toxicology in 2002.
Pratt joined the agency from the Health and Safety Authority where she was responsible for assessing risks associated with hazardous chemicals and safety in the workplace.
“She brought a wealth of experience in food toxicology to the FSAI and was forthright in ensuring the authority took all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of our risk assessment work, while all the time putting consumer interests first,” said a statement.
“Her appreciation of the need to underpin food safety policy and risk management decisions with the best scientific evidence available greatly assisted in shaping the scientific foundations of the authority in the discipline of risk assessment.
“Our deepest sympathies go to her husband Albert, daughters Adrienne and Jennifer, and grandson Conall on the passing of such an exceptional person.”