Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
The Honourable Member referred to the 2012 Court of Auditor’s special report No15, which also recognised the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as having one of the most developed systems for detecting and managing conflicts of interest.
1. EFSA's founding Regulation(1) establishes that the Authority provides scientific advice in an independent and transparent manner. EFSA's internal rules and procedures are in line with these requirements. The Commission understands that the EFSA’s scientific assessment uses available data that conforms to the required standards irrespective of its source and that the underlying data sources are made available (list of references). It should be noted that some of the studies provided may contain confidential data requiring data protection.
2. The Commission is satisfied with the way EFSA implements the requirement of its founding Regulation for independence and transparency. It has established internal rules and procedures on independence to comply with these requirements and those of the EU guidelines on the independence of agencies published by the Commission in 2013(2). EFSA regularly updates its rules on independence.
3 Article 25 of EFSA's founding Regulation provides that the Management Board includes four Members with a background in organisations representing consumers as well as other interest in the food chain. Members of the Management Board sign an annual declaration of interest and EFSA’s code of conduct, which includes the principle of acting in the public interest. Both are published on the EFSA’s website(3).
Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the Parliament and of the Council of 28.1.2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, OJ L 31, 1.2.2002.