Food Law News - UK - 2002

FSA News Item, 18 April 2002

ADMINISTRATION - Advisory committees review

A review of the scientific committees that report to the Food Standards Agency has made 50 recommendations on the way the committees work.

The review team, led by the Agency chairman Sir John Krebs, was set up to ensure that the advisory committees' work was consistent with the remit and values of the FSA and followed good practice guidelines. It found that there was widespread agreement between stakeholders and committee chairs on the way the committees were evolving.

'The independent scientific advisory committees provide the Agency with extremely high-quality advice that provides a firm foundation for much of our work,' Sir John Krebs said. 'The recommendations in this report will ensure that this high standard is maintained and that the committees reflect the Agency's guiding principles of putting consumers first, openness and independence.'

The review makes key recommendations on topics such as putting together a pool of internationally recognised experts to be consulted on an ad hoc basis, the need to balance openness with confidentiality requirements, and the handling of potential conflicts of interest.

The review team looked at the work of eight committees, some of which also advise other Government departments. It recommended that routine reviews of the committees should be put in place to ensure a consistency of approach in matters such as making appointments, publishing reports, conduct of meetings and the approach to risk assessment.

The copy of the 'Report on the Review of Scientific Committees' can be found at:

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