Transparency

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 will apply from 27 March 2021, will strengthen the Authority’s ability to carry out its risk assessment functions in accordance with the highest transparency standards.

The regulation aims to increase 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.

In line with its long-standing commitment to stakeholder engagement, EFSA will interact regularly with its stakeholders on the implementation of the new regulation. More details on the principles EFSA will apply and the framework it will use during this process can be found here.

In consultation with the European Commission and experts from EU Member States, EFSA has also drawn up a paper setting out how it will apply the new requirements in practice without compromising its legal obligations regarding the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information.