Food Law News - EU - 1997

10 June 1997: ADMINISTRATION - The European Commission creates a Scientific Steering Committee

Brussels (ip/97/508) 10 June 1997

The European Commission creates a Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) in the field of Consumer Health and Food Safety

The European Commission, following its Communication on Consumer Health and Food Safety adopted on 30/4/97, has undertaken a significant step towards the implementation of its new approach by adopting today a decision concerning the establishment of the Scientific Steering Committee in the field of consumer health and food safety (SSC). This Committee will assist the Commission in obtaining sound scientific advice and by coordinating the work of the six scientific committees in the field of consumer health (Food, Veterinary, Animal Nutrition, Pesticides, Toxicology/Ecotoxicology and Cosmetology). The three principles which must be at the basis of the good performance of the SSC, as well as of the other scientific committees, are the excellence of their members, their independence and the transparency of their advice.

The SSC replaces the Multidisciplinary Scientific Committee, which advised the Commission on multidisciplinary aspects of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

The SSC's mandate will be:

The SSC will consist of fourteen members : eight eminent scientific experts, who are not member in any other of the scientific committees of the Commission, and the six chairpersons of the other scientific committees.

In consistent application of the principle of transparency, the Commission has decided to publish in the Official Journal a "Call for expressions of interest" for the eight scientific experts, which includes an explanation of the selection criteria and the selection process to be applied. The deadline for application is 7 July 1997.

The Commission invites the leading experts in Europe and elsewhere to make themselves available for this important task. Scientific organisations and Universities may submit candidatures of eminent scientific experts prior to their consent. In order to make it easier to follow this invitation, the Commission envisages to provide a special indemnity to the members of the SSC and the experts invited for specialised advice.

The SSC will play a central role in the scientific advice system of the Commission on consumer health matters and will therefore be highly important to all European citizens.

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