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Senators propose emergencies commission

A group of French senators led by Green Party member Marie-Christine Blandin has proposed establishing a commission of scientific experts to offer guidance during health and environmental emergencies.

The senators claim confusion often emerges during emergencies relating to new materials or discoveries and that mistrust of experts can cause delays on decisions.

They cite the scandal in which pharmaceutical firm Servier stood accused of misleading the public about the content of its diabetes drug, Mediator, which many people used as a weight-loss aid. The drug was linked to hundreds and potentially thousands of deaths, having remained on the market for a decade. The senators say the scandal has left a lasting legacy of mistrust for innovation.

The proposal is under consideration in the senate. The national health and environment agency, SFSE, has also opened a consultation on the idea.