European Food Safety Authority – The Independent Scientific Food Chain Adviser

European Food Safety Authority


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) that was established in February 2002, is based in Parma, Italy. Its main responsibility is to provide independent scientific advice and communicates on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain. Its remit covers,

  • Animal health and welfare
  • Plant health.
  • Food and feed safety
  • Plant protection

EFSA’s work involves:

  • Providing independent, up-to-date scientific advice on food safety issues
  • Gathering scientific data and expertise
  • Communicating its scientific work to the public
  • Boosting trust in the EU’s food safety system by providing dependable advice
  • Cooperating with EU countries, international bodies, and other stakeholders.

It was set up due to a following series of food crisis in the late 1990s to be a source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain. It is governed by a management board with 15 members and their scientific work is led by its scientific committee and its 10 panels, made up of leading scientists.

Based on a regulation of 2002, the EFSA is composed of four bodies,

  • Management Board: It sets the budget, approves work programmers, and is responsible for ensuring that EFSA co-operates successfully with partner organizations across the EU and beyond.
  • Executive Director: They are the EFSA’s legal representative and is responsible for day-to-day administration, drafting and implementing work programmers, and implementing other decisions adopted by the Management Board.
  • Advisory Forum: They advise the Executive Director, in particular in drafting a proposal for the EFSA’s work programmers.
  • Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels: Provide scientific opinions and advice, each within their own sphere of competence, and are composed of independent scientific experts.

The scientific output of the European Food Safety Authority is published in the EFSA Journal, an open-access, online scientific journal. This concerns risk assessment in relation to food and feed and includes nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection.

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