Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

EFSA's new policy fails to ban experts with industry links

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) new independence policy allows the possible subversion of scientific advice by industry’s vested interests, Corporate Europe Observatory said following publication of the policy on Wednesday. It is due for approval by the EFSA Management Board when it meets tomorrow in Warsaw.

Corporate Europe Observatory said the policy, aimed at improving EFSA's independence in delivering scientific opinions on food safety, failed to explicitly ban experts with links to industry from sitting on EFSA’s advisory panels, risking serious conflicts of interest.

Nina Holland, campaigner at CEO said: "The policy put forward by EFSA does not explicitly ban experts with industry links. We think there should be clear criteria to make sure scientists who have a conflict of interests do not sit on EFSA’s advisory panels.”

She added that the only notable improvement in the policy was the inclusion of a broader definition of conflicts of interest, which had been called for by CEO.

EFSA has also defended the way in which it deals with revolving door cases, where members of EFSA staff go through the revolving door to work for industry. EFSA claims that the tighter rules now in place mean that the mistakes identified by the European Ombudsman in the case of Suzy Renckens would not be repeated. But CEO has highlighted the case of David Carlander, a scientific officer at EFSA working on guidance for assessing the risks of nanotechnology in food, who went on to become Advocacy Director at the Nanotechnology Industries Association in September.

EFSA reports that its new improved processes to handle revolving door cases can be seen in action with its decision to place restrictions on Carlander's role at NIA. Yet CEO considers that these restrictions are very limited, considering the potential conflicts of interest at stake; a cooling off period of two years would have been a more effective decision in this case.


The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) new independence policy allows the possible subversion of scientific advice by industry’s vested interests, Corporate Europe Observatory said following publication of the policy on Wednesday. It is due for approval by the EFSA Management Board when it meets tomorrow in Warsaw.Corporate Europe Observatory said the policy, aimed at improving EFSA's independence in delivering scientific opinions on food safety, failed to explicitly ban experts with links to industry from sitting on EFSA’s advisory panels, risking serious conflicts of interest.Nina Holland, campaigner at CEO said: "The policy put forward by EFSA does not explicitly ban experts with industry links. We think there should be clear criteria to make sure scientists who have a conflict of interests do not sit on EFSA’s advisory panels.”She added that the only notable improvement in the policy was the inclusion of a broader definition of conflicts of interest, which had been called for by CEO.EFSA has also defended the way in which it deals with revolving door cases, where members of EFSA staff go through the revolving door to work for industry. EFSA claims that the tighter rules now in place mean that the mistakes identified by the European Ombudsman in the case of Suzy Renckens would not be repeated. But CEO has highlighted the case of David Carlander, a scientific officer at EFSA working on guidance for assessing the risks of nanotechnology in food, who went on to become Advocacy Director at the Nanotechnology Industries Association in September.EFSA reports that its new improved processes to handle revolving door cases can be seen in action with its decision to place restrictions on Carlander's role at NIA. Yet CEO considers that these restrictions are very limited, considering the potential conflicts of interest at stake; a cooling off period of two years would have been a more effective decision in this case.
 

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

This May is dense on the EU chemicals regulation front. Crunch time for two major files: the European Commission needs to publish the identification criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals, and together with EU States must decide how, or not, renew the market approval of glyphosate, an herbicide produced and defended by Monsanto. Last week, the Professor Alan Boobis happened to be involved in both.

Demonstrating the problematic symbiosis between corporate interests and EU institutions, the same lobbying consultancies often get hired by both.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

 
 
 
 
 
-- placeholder --
 
 
 

The corporate lobby tour