Food Law News - EU - 1997
23 July 1997: ADMINISTRATION - Commission renews the Scientific Committees in the field of Consumer Health and Food Safety
Commission Release (IP/97/679), 23 July 1997
The European Commission renews the Scientific Committees in the field of Consumer Health and Food Safety
The European Commission decided today to set up eight Scientific Committees in the field of consumer health and food safety (Food; Animal Nutrition; Animal Health and Welfare; Veterinary Public Health; Plants; Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products; Medicaments and Medical Materials; Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment). The Commission aims at strengthening the coherence of the existing scientific committees and at redefining the activities of some of them. The three principles which must be at the basis of the good performance of the scientific committees are the excellence of their members, their independence and the transparency of their advice. The decision of the Commission is a significant step towards the implementation of its new approach announced in its Communication on Consumer Health and Food Safety adopted on 30/4/97. The Commission will publish in the Official Journal a "Call for expressions of interest" for the scientific experts, which includes an explanation of the selection criteria and the selection process to be applied. The deadline for application is 19 September 1997.
The following Scientific Committees have been established:
- The Scientific Committee on Food
- The Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition
- The Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare
- The Scientific Committee on Veterinary Public Health
- The Scientific Committee on Plants
- The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products intended for Consumers
- The Scientific Committee on Medicaments and Medical Materials
- The Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment
The Scientific Committees shall provide scientific opinions on matters relating to consumer health and food safety. Notably they shall:
- critically examine risk assessments made by scientists belonging to Member State organisations
- develop new risk assessment procedures relating to areas such as, for example, food-borne diseases and the transmissibility of animal diseases to man
- prepare scientific opinions designed to enable the Commission to evaluate the scientific basis of the recommendations, standards and guidelines prepared in international forums
- evaluate the scientific principles on which Community health standards are based, taking into account the risk assessment techniques developed by the international organisations concerned.
Based on the evolution of existing scientific data, the Scientific Committees may draw the Commission's attention to any specific or emerging problem falling within their remit relating to consumer health and food safety.
Each Scientific Committee shall consist of a maximum of 19 members. The number of members of each Committee shall be determined by the Commission as a function of the required expertise. It is necessary to remind that the activities of the Committees will be co-ordinated by the Scientific Steering Committee which has been established by the Commission decision 97/404/CE.
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 scientific experts, which includes an explanation of the selection criteria and the selection process to be applied. The deadline for application is 19 September 1997. The full text of the "Call for expressions of interest" is available on the Internet site EUROPA.EU.INT/EN/COMM/DG24/SPC.HTML
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 Scientific Committees and the experts invited for specialised advice.
The Scientific Committees 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.
For previous related item, see 10 June 1997
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