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EFSA’s Expert Database
Posted: June 6, 2008
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is the European Union’s scientific risk assessment body on food and feed safety, nutrition, animal welfare and plant protection and health, is launching a database for Europe’s leading scientific experts to assist it in its work. EFSA is inviting scientific experts to sign up to its new expert database, which will be used to assist its scientific committee and panels in their risk assessment activities. This open invitation to scientific experts is being made within the context of EFSA’s strengthened policy for the selection of scientific experts (see the Decision of EFSA’s Executive Director on the selection of experts) for its scientific Committee, Scientific Panels and working groups to assist EFSA with its scientific work. This will create a “pool” of experts from which EFSA will select future working group members and other ad-hoc scientists who will support the work of EFSA’s scientific committee and panels. The expert database will also be available to all EU Member States who may use it to select experts for their own scientific activities.
EFSA, in cooperation with Member States, decided to set up this database of scientific experts in order to further reinforce EFSA’s capacity to deliver independent scientific advice and assist the Authority with its growing workload. It will also contribute to EFSA’s responsiveness in providing risk assessment advice to Europe’s decision-makers. The revised policy for the selection of scientific experts and this tool will both contribute to enhancing the transparency of the way in which experts are selected and invited to participate in EFSA’s scientific activities.
While the call for EFSA’s scientific committee and panel members will be launched in autumn this year, EFSA is now launching the expert database. EFSA experts work with other leading scientists in providing EFSA with risk assessment advice which helps inform Europe’s decision-makers. Experts from Europe and beyond, with high specialization in a wide range of scientific and expert fields, such as food safety, nutrition, toxicology, chemistry and animal welfare, are invited to apply. A full list of the expertise being sought is indicated in the “competencies” fields of the web application form.
In accordance with existing EFSA rules, those experts selected from the database will be invited for a certain scientific activity. When participating in the work, they will receive travel and subsistence expenses and an indemnity for their contribution to EFSA’s work.
EFSA will be organizing a series of activities over the coming months to promote the engagement and participation of scientists in EFSA’s growing risk assessment activities. An important component of this will be a series of seminars, mainly in the newer EU Member States.