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Food regulator under fire for weak impartiality rules

A revision of the European Food Safety Authority’s policy on the independence of its experts has been criticised by MEPs.

Efsa’s management board approved a revised independence policy on 21 June, and the regulator said in a statement that the policy included several measures to strengthen its impartiality and protection against improper influence. These include a ban on people joining one of Efsa’s scientific panels if they have been employed by, received research funding from, consulted for or offered scientific advice to any organisation falling under the panel’s remit within the past two years.

Jaana Husu-Kallio, chair of Efsa’s management board, said that months of debate and consultation had fed into the policy, and that it achieved the right balance of independence from undue influence and the need to draw on expertise.

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