The Environment Committee believes the EFSA's remit should firstly be to assess risks in the field of food safety and to give scientific advice. It should also provide information to the public about its scientific conclusions and recommendations, although the Commission would remain responsible for explaining risk management decisions. The EFSA should play a key role in the existing Rapid Alert System, which should be improved and extended to cover all areas of food safety, including animal feed. The Director of the EFSA should be appointed by the Commission after a public hearing before the relevant Parliament committee. The EFSA, which should work in close cooperation with national food safety agencies, must be given powers to require Member States to provide such information, statistics and research reports in their possession as the EFSA Board may consider necessary to assess a particular risk.
Instead of the proposed name European Food Safety Agency, the committee is calling for the body to be called an Authority. It is also calling for the EFSA to develop close contacts with the main consumer protection organisations to promote the exchange of information on risk assessment. Member States that do not yet have independent food agencies are urged to establish them. In addition, the committee considers that the EFSA should establish a close relationship with other bodies such as the US Food and Drug Agency, the Codex Alimentarius, the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation.
Finally there is a call for the Commission to consider a number of legislative priorities in addition to the establishment of the EFSA. These include a General Food Law Directive and amendments to existing EU legislation on feedingstuff ingredients, pesticide and dioxin levels, BSE, the addition of nutrients to food and processed baby foods.