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European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - Introduction

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides the European Commission with independent scientific advice on all matters with a direct or indirect impact on food safety. It is a separate legal entity, independent from the other EU institutions.

The establishment of EFSA was one of the key measures contained in the Commission’s White Paper on Food Safety, which was published in January 2000. The Regulation 178/2002/EC providing a legal basis for the Authority was formally adopted on 28 January 2002.

EFSA’s work covers all stages of food production and supply, from primary production to the safety of animal feed, right through to the supply of food to consumers. It collects information and analyses new scientific developments so it can identify and assess any potential risks to the food chain. It can carry out scientific assessment on any matter that may have a direct or indirect effect on the safety of the food supply, including matters relating to animal health, animal welfare and plant health.

EFSA also gives scientific advice on non-food and feed GMOs as well as on nutrition in relation to EU legislation. It can communicate directly with the public on any issue within its area of responsibility.
This site contains archive material related to five committees which were transferred to EFSA in May 2003:

  • Scientific Committee on Food
  • Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition
  • Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health
  • Scientific Committee on Plants
  • Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare

All were established by Commission Decision 97/579/EC. At the same time the Scientific Steering Committee was dissolved and its responsibilities in relation to scientific advice on BSE/TSE were also transferred to EFSA. More information on these committees is available here.

Commissioner: David Byrne

David Byrne
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