The European Food Safety Authority celebrates its 10th year. The EFSA was founded in 2002 after a series of food crises in the 1990’s. In the past ten years, the organisation has made an important contribution to the progress of food safety, like the decrease of salmonella and the introduction of Maximum Residue Limits (MRL). “What we want is that European consumers can trust the food they eat,” says Paolo Testori Coggi in a report marking the occasion.
In spite of the many changes in the EU, the EFSA’s core principles have remained the same: scientific expertise, independence, openness and transparency. Not only has the Authority grown exponentially when it comes to means, funding and expertise, there has been an increasing demand for the organisation’s guidance.
Last year’s EHEC crisis has made a deep impression on everybody. To the EFSA, it once again confirmed the need for an able and pervasive authority to control the quality and safety of food. Besides providing scientific advice to EU members, the EFSA continuously expands its evaluation parameters by taking effective and timely risk management decisions. These include the MRL’s. The European MRL monitoring programs are the most extensive in the world. Over 60,000 products are checked on 800 pesticides. Also, the Authority is increasingly active in the fields of global trade, biotechnology and the environment.
Director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle calls the undertaking a success and adds it would not have been possible without the support of EU members and the many authorities involved. She is looking forward to the next ten years.