EU Food Safety Commissioner Says Science Must Prevail

Let me add here a brief word about the regulation of food additives which can only be used if, on the basis of the scientific evidence available, they do not pose a safety concern to the health of the consumer.

The safety of all food additives is systematically assessed by EFSA. All the additives on the EU list are therefore considered safe for consumption under the detailed conditions of use.

The Commission has undertaken a broad re-evaluation program to review the use of certain additives and food colors to ensure the highest public health protection.

In order to take into account new scientific developments, all food additives granted permission before 2009 are subject to a new risk assessment by EFSA.

This is another example of the Commission striving to maximize safety using the latest science.

Yet despite all our efforts to ensure rigorous high safety standards and impartiality across these various issues, inevitably perhaps, controversy around a few substances risk leading to an erosion of public trust in our science-based systems.

This can be explained partly by an exaggerated perception of personal risk, stemming from the confusion of “hazard” and “risk” in public opinion, and partly by increasing suspicion over the independence of our risk assessment system.

This second issue arose strongly in the case of glyphosate where recurrent suspicions and allegations of conflicts of interest eroded confidence as regards the integrity of our structures and procedures.