Have Questions?
close

Independent science

00:00:08
Hello, my name is Dirk and I work as a lawyer at the
00:00:10
European Food Safety Authority. Today, I would like to talk to you
00:00:14
about how the core values of EFSA are incorporated in its
00:00:18
scientific decision-making processes. The food safety system
00:00:21
of the European Union is based on risk assessment.
00:00:24
Risk assessment that at the European Union level
00:00:26
is performed by the European Food Safety Authority
00:00:29
and that needs to live up to core values like
00:00:32
responsiveness, excellence in science, independence, openness and transparency.
00:00:37
Now it is important to understand that none of these
00:00:41
core values can be looked at in isolation, and today I would
00:00:44
like to demonstrate to you how this works for excellence in
00:00:48
science and independence. EFSA has got the privilege to work with
00:00:53
the finest experts that are available in the European Union.
00:00:57
However, these experts, by the nature of their background, will have interests.
00:01:01
However it is important to note that an interest as such
00:01:05
does not automatically mean that it is a conflict of interest,
00:01:08
but that this needs to be assessed in a certain context.
00:01:12
Any system that tries to address the relationship between
00:01:16
excellence in science and independence does need to strike a
00:01:19
balance between these two core values.
00:01:21
That is why at EFSA we have collegial decision-making processes.
00:01:26
That means that 21 experts with multi-disciplinary backgrounds,
00:01:31
with different schools of thought, do discuss our scientific
00:01:35
outputs and do agree on our scientific outputs.
00:01:38
And that scientific output of EFSA is never the outcome of a single individual expert.
00:01:44
However, EFSA is aware of the fact that the input of individuals is very important.
00:01:50
That is why EFSA has set up a complex system in order to seek
00:01:55
and collect interest declared by individuals and to screen them.
00:01:58
What we do have is a system where we do ask for an annual
00:02:03
declaration of interest over the span of one year which needs
00:02:07
to be updated on an annual basis. In addition to that, we have specific
00:02:13
declarations of interest which are linked to each meeting the
00:02:16
expert is supposed to attend to, and which are linked to the
00:02:20
agenda of that specific meeting. And in order to cover the period
00:02:25
between the specific and the oral declaration and the meeting as
00:02:28
such, we have an oral declaration of meeting
00:02:31
of declaration of interest, which is sought at the
00:02:34
beginning of the meeting. Now collecting the interest is a very
00:02:38
important step, but assessing them and deciding when an interest
00:02:42
turns into a conflict is of course in the same way crucial.
00:02:46
Based on the definition of the OECD, EFSA has set up a system on how
00:02:51
to screen interest and to decide whether they are in conflict or not.
00:02:54
In order to do so we have developed this triangle in which
00:02:58
we on the one hand look at the interest that has been declared,
00:03:01
on the other hand we look at the task of the group
00:03:05
the expert is going to join, and we have a look at the role
00:03:09
the individual expert is going to perform in that group.
00:03:14
Within this triangle it is possible for EFSA to decide whether an interest
00:03:18
is actually turning into a conflict of interest and therefore is undermining,
show more
add my translation
Working...
no translation