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.

 

The corporate lobby tour

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.
Story

Not our Europe

The ‘agreement’ that the eurozone countries and the Troika forced on the Greek government during the “night of shame” strangled space for a progressive project. It is not only dangerous for the Greeks, but for citizens all across the European Union.
Reforms announced last week do little to address flaws in EU's Emissions Trading System.
Today's Commission announcement extends a failing system for another 15 years.
The prospective EU-US trade deal could be the world's biggest such treaty. The revolving door between public and private sectors is helping to grease the wheels of the TTIP corporate lobby. This phenomenon creates great potential for conflicts of interest, and demonstrates the synergies between business interests and the Commission, UK government, and others when it comes to trade negotiations.

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate