European Parliament refuses to approve EFSA budget because of conflicts of interest

Brussels 10.05. 2012. Today the European Parliament voted against granting discharge of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) budget for the year 2010. By doing so, it adopted a report from its Committee on Budgetary Control criticising EFSA very harshly for conflicts of interest and revolving door cases.

Notably, the report calls the links between EFSA and the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) a source of conflicts of interest. ILSI is funded by food industry and agrochemical companies. Links with ILSI are documented on the level of the Management Board as well as in the panels such as the one for genetically engineered plants, for food additives and for pesticides.

Two days before, Diána Bánáti has resigned as member and Chair of the Management Board of EFSA Banati stepped down from her role as chair of EFSA's management board to become the new executive and scientific director of ILSI.

Just recently the European Commission has nominated an ex-employee of Monsanto and chief lobbyist of EU food industry, Mella Frewen to become one of the new members of the Management Board.

Testbiotech is amongst those urging fundamental changes to EFSA's founding regulations, which are due for review later this year. Industry lobbyists should be banned from EFSA’s Management Board to prevent further conflict of interests.