EU food safety agency to expand role in nutrition, health

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, European union, European food safety authority

The EU's food safety agency said yesterday it would focus on
increasing its role in monitoring nutrition and health issues
across the bloc.

The decision by the European Food Safety Authority's management board was based recommendations resulting from a public consultation held earlier this year.

The board also said it would strengthen co-operation with member states, improve EFSA's internal organisation, strengthen its relationship with its institutional partners, and "explore further the development of the authority's mandate".

"To this end, the board will seek to enhance EFSA's role in the area of nutrition and health taking into account views of key institutional partners and stakeholders,"​ the agency stated yesterday.

"It is clear that the changing political and policy environment places a greater emphasis on the relation between diet, nutrition and health,"​ the board stated. "The board recommends that EFSA clarifies its role in the area of nutrition and health taking into account the changing legislative framework on nutrition, health claims and the growing public interest and political debate on these matters."

EFSA said it would take into consideration the views of the European Commission, the Council and European Parliament as well as others to develop its policy and long term strategy in this area.

EFSA has always said it is not an EU food safety regulator, but a scientific risk assessment agency that deals with food and feed related issues.

In its meeting yesterday the management board said it would develop a plan outlining the agency's role and development over the next 10 years and "explore" the relationship between science and policy.

The plan should include a roadmap of expected events influencing EFSA's role and position, such as further enlargement of the EU, cooperation with non-EU countries, anticipated priority areas of concern, the level of involvement of national food safety agencies in EFSA's work, connections with the European Parliament and expected evolution of risk assessment and risk management links.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy

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