18 February 2019
EU, Estonia, Finland
Asthma , COPD, Allergy, Food Allergy, Other Diseases
- Medicines

The use and presence of pesticides, and their classification as endocrine disruptors where among the top food-related health concerns that civil society representatives discussed with European Safety Authority (EFSA) staff during the annual NGO stakeholder roundtable organised by the food agency.

The meeting gathered 11 of the current 18 official EFSA NGO stakeholders, including EFA’s representative who brought the voice of people living with food allergy.

Interestingly for patients, EFSA updated the participants on the current in vivo and in vitro testing needed to approve a new Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) that will sold as food. GMOs also include the so-called novel foods, food ingredients which also need to be assessed on their potential allerginicity before being commercialised in the EU.

In the most scientific part of the meeting, environmental stakeholders pointed out at EFSA’s environmental risk assessments, the risk assessment of chemical mixtures and the EFSA’s work on bee health (a partnership launched under the leadership of the European Parliament).

Finally, EFSA representatives presented a new initiative to engage with stakeholders earlier in their assessment and regulatory process. From now on, EFSA will invite organisations with whom they have official relations, such as EFA, to participate in framing EFSA self-mandates and guidance documents.

The “framing of questions” procedure would mean in practice that food allergy patients would have another possibility to raise their needs and concerns over the safety of the food they eat, beyond the substance-based consultation procedures that EFSA is doing on a daily basis. The agency expects through this process to better capture social needs and expectations in the long-term.

For more information about EFA’s work on food labelling, visit our website.

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The EFA Team