EFSA shifting workload and renaming Food Panels

Posted 23 February, 2017

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) currently has 10 scientific panels, each dealing with a specific area of food safety, which are responsible for providing scientific opinions that help protect consumers, animals and the environment from food-related risks. Due to technical and scientific changes, EFSA have decided to shift tasks & assignments between the Panel of food additives and nutrient sources to be added to food (ANS), the Panel on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies (NDA) and the Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids (CEF).

The need for evaluation of pending applications for inclusion in the Union list of food enzymes (Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008) is likely to increase the workload of the CEF Panel in the coming years. Therefore, evaluation of flavourings will be transferred to the ANS Panel, and the evaluation of nutrient sources and other substances with physiological effect added to foods will be reassigned from the ANS Panel to the NDA Panel. The reason for the latter workload shift is because EFSA expects the workload of the NDA Panel to decrease due to the finalisation of dietary reference values and the decreasing number of applications for inclusion in the list of permitted health claims.

The name of the three panels have been changed to:

  • ANS: Panel on food additives and flavourings
  • NDA: Panel on nutrition, novel foods and food allergens
  • CEF: Panel on food contact materials, enzymes and processing aids

These changes were published on the 10 February 2017 in Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/228 and are applicable from 1 July 2018.

Pen & Tec will be attending EFSA’s Info Session on Novel Foods on 6 March 2017 in Parma, Italy. The objective of this technical meeting is to discuss the requirements set by the new EFSA guidance documents for the preparation and presentation of an application for authorisation of a novel food and for notification and application for authorisation of traditional foods from third countries. Pen & Tec will provide high-level feedback from the meeting.

About EFSA’s Scientific Panels

The Scientific Panels are composed of independent scientific experts-appointed through an open selection procedure- with a three-year mandate. They carry out scientific assessments and develop related assessment methodologies.

EFSA’s Scientific Panels of experts are responsible for the bulk of EFSA’s scientific assessment work. Each of the 10 Panels is dedicated to a different area of the food and feed chain. In addition to the ANS, NDA and CEF, the other eight Panels are:

  • AHAW: Panel on Animal Health and Welfare
  • BIOHAZ: Panel on Biological Hazards
  • CONTAM: Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain
  • FEEDAP: Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
  • GMO: Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms
  • PLH: Panel on Plant Health
  • PPR: Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues

EFSA will launched a call of interest for membership of the Scientific Committee and Panels in the second quarter of 2017.