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News > World

Nearly Half EU Food Safety Experts Have Conflicts of Interest

  • Activists at a protest against Monsanto corporation and its role in GMO food in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 12, 2013.

    Activists at a protest against Monsanto corporation and its role in GMO food in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 12, 2013. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 June 2017
Opinion

The watchdog group fears the EU agency's alleged reluctance to change will not improve the current situation.

A report update by a European research and campaign monitor group published Wednesday warned that nearly half the food safety experts appointed by the European Union's Food Safety Authority, EFSA, had financial conflicts of interest related to the food industry.

The Corporate Europe Observatory report update claimed that 46 percent of appointed members of the EFSA's scientific panels had direct and/or indirect financial interests with industrial farming or food companies whose products the Authority was responsible for assessing.

These included products Europeans put in their shopping baskets and feed to their families every day.

The EFSA's mission is to provide independent scientific advice to European institutions on food safety matters and the agency's motto is "trusted science for safe food."

The CEO report said: "Conflict of interest scandals have erupted regularly on many issues but in particular: food additives, pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), nutrition recommendations, etc."

NGOs and media outlets have raised concerns that the EFSA's independence policy was dysfunctional, despite the European Parliament's repeated demands that it must break away clean from the food industry.

Many scientists with financial conflicts of interests in the 2013 report have been re-appointed by EFSA, senior positions included.

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