This report reveals a well planned and orchestrated attempt of industry to undermine policies meant to evaluate the toxicity of chemicals mixtures (cumulative risk assessment, CRA). This is done by putting industry-linked experts in crucial positions in expert panels of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
A massive delay in policy implementation is the result. Eight years after the EU mandated such risk assessments for pesticide residues in food, EFSA still fails to carry them out, leaving consumers and citizens unprotected against the harms of mixtures of pesticides in food.
Download the report here
According to the report, 52% of EFSA experts and 73% of WHO experts have links with industry.
Recommendations from PAN Europe are for:
a). WHO must revise their CRA recommendations by appointing active scientists without ties to industry
b). WHO must reinforce its independence policy so as to ban conflict of interests
c). WHO to make sure any policy development is done by independent scientists and –if stakeholders are invited- only a balanced stakeholder representation should be allowed. WHO must immediately stop collaborating exclusively with industry lobby groups such as ILSI and ECETOC
e). EFSA must strengthen their policy on conflicts of interest and ban them from their panels
f). EFSA must set up more ‘check and balances’ in the organisation to ensure that any capture from whatever side is prevented
g). EFSA must immediately adapt food standards for pesticide residues to account for the daily mixture of pesticides in food as it can be observed in real life situations
h). The EU must stop allowing industry lobby groups to apply for taxpayers’ money in the Framework program and use it to develop industry policy proposals.
i). EFSA must effectively prevent dual roles so that people who have been involved in advising on the introduction of a certain tool are not involved in the development of implementing the tool.
Post provided by campaign partner PAN Europe