Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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EFSA: conflicts of interest on board

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for assessing and communicating food safety in the European Union, for everything from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to pesticides. However EFSA has recently been criticised because its scientific assessments of new GM crops and pesticides rely almost exclusively on corporate research data. Some EFSA experts have also been accused of being too close to the food and drink industry . Several cases of ‘revolving doors’ (where EFSA employees move straight to industry, or from industry to EFSA) and conflicts of interest have been highlighted. Now, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) has discovered that three EFSA board members are advisors for Big Food companies, working through industry-funded think tanks which aim to manipulate political and scientific debate concerning food risks. A fourth member of the board is director of a fund which has shares in a company selling GM feed. Those conflicts of interest risk influencing the judgement of these board members when involved in EFSA’s work, in particular when they establish work programmes and appoint members of the agency’s scientific committee and panels.

Heard by the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Bernhard Url, EFSA's director, said that the EU had "enough scientific capability around [...] without a chief scientific adviser".
An analysis of the revised independence policy of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). More reworded than revised, actually.
Will EFSA become more transparent, and to lobbyists or scientists? After its public consultation on its draft transparency policy, the Authority must now choose.
A presentation explaining the situation at the European Food Safety Authority and why conflicts of interest scandals keep accumulating there.
Ombudsman upholds CEO complaint against the Commission over failure on UN tobacco lobby rules.
A new briefing in French and English by CEO shows how Solutions COP21 in Paris, which is supposed to showcase climate solutions during COP21, is in fact just a corporate greenwashing vehicle that also enables big business to buy access to decision makers. Aimed at activists, the 4-page briefing is a what's what on (false) Solutions COP21.
Civil society groups denounce the Commission's plan for a Capital Markets Union. No lesson has been learnt from the financial crisis, they say.
Discover the hidden world of well-resourced dirty energy lobbyists

Capturing COP21 - Cororate influence and the UN climate summit in Paris

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate