Opinion Factsheet  

Risk assessment in the food chain

Opinion Number: CDR 2837/2018
Rapporteur: REPASKÝ Miloslav
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 10/10/2018

- believes that the European Commission's initiative is a move in the right direction but doubts persist about whether the proposed changes will enable an independent scientific scrutiny of studies and data used in the risk assessments of regulated products and substances;

- highlights the fact that citizens and other stakeholders have raised concerns about the transparency and independence of industry generated studies and data used by EFSA in its risk assessments in the context of authorisation procedures for regulated products or substances;

- notes that if independent researchers are not able to publish their findings, there will be no incentives for them to cross-check the results of a study used in the EFSA risk assessments;

- supports the proposal to set up a register of all studies managed by EFSA which should make publication bias and withholding of important safety information more difficult;

- points out that public trust is one of the most important explanatory variables of the public's perceptions of risk . If the public trusts policymakers or regulators, they will perceive risks to be less than when they do not trust them;

- welcomes the fact that the general plan on risk communication, as set out in the Commission's proposal, takes into account risk perceptions and stresses in this regard that it is very important to raise awareness among the general public about concepts such as "danger" and "risk", and this at all levels of government, including at the level of regional and local authorities.