Food Law News - EU - 2000

Commission Memo (MEMO/00/106), 12 December 2000

ADMINISTRATION - Renewal of Scientific Committees Completed

The process to renew the mandate of the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and the eight specialised scientific committees advising the European Commission on issues related to consumer safety and public health has been completed with the nomination of the chairman at the SSC meeting last Friday. Prof. Gérard Pascal will continue to chair the SSC, with Prof. Albert Osterhaus and Vittorio Silano as co-chairs. A total of 151 independent scientists have been appointed members of the specialised scientific committees. Members were selected by an open call for expression of interest. A total of 483 candidates applied.

The European Commission had already in September adopted appointed the first eight independent scientific experts as members of the new Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), also after an open call and a formal selection process. Under their guidance, the members of the other specialised committees were selected. Each committee then chose its chairperson, who also becomes a member of the SSC. The SSC is thus composed of the eight chairpersons of the specialised scientific committees and eight scientists not belonging to other scientific committees.

The renewal process was started because the three-year mandate of the members of the scientific committees was running out. The new members are in principle also appointed for a three-year period, but their mandate may be adjusted in function of the progress made in setting up the European Food Authority. The responsibility for scientific advice in the area of food safety is to be transferred to the Authority as soon as it becomes operational.

The Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and the specialised scientific committees were set up in the current format in 1997 in response to the BSE crisis. Their objective is to prepare scientific advice to the Commission guided by the principles of independence, transparency and excellency. The members of the scientific committees are appointed in their individual capacity.

The full list of members of the eight scientific committees is available on

More information about the Scientific Steering Committee is available at:

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