The European Food Safety Authority
) is an agency of the European Union that provides independent scientific advice and communication on existing and emerging risks associated with the food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...
chain, created by European Regulation 178/2002.
The Authority’s work covers all matters with a direct or indirect impact on food and feed safety, including animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health and nutrition.
EFSA supports the European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....
, European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...
and EU member states in taking effective and timely risk management
Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities...
decisions that ensure the protection of the health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...
of the European consumers and the safety of the food and feed chain.
The Authority communicates to the public in an open and transparent way on all matters within its remit.
EFSA was set up in January 2002 and it is based in Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
EFSA is composed of four bodies:
The Management Board
sets the budget, approves the annual work programme and is responsible for ensuring that EFSA co-operates successfully with partner organisations across the EU and beyond.
The Executive Director is the legal representative of the Authority. The Executive Director is responsible for operational matters, staffing issues and drawing up the annual programme in consultation with the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States.
The Executive Director
is assisted by an Advisory Forum
composed of representatives of national bodies responsible for risk assessment in the Member States, with observers from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the European Commission.
EFSA’s scientific opinions and advice are provided by the Scientific Committee (SC)
and Scientific Panels
, each within their own sphere of competence. EFSA’s Scientific Committee and Panels are composed of highly qualified experts in scientific risk assessment.
Funding EFSA activities
EFSA is an independent European agency funded by the EU budget that operates separately from the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States. Its budget for 2008 was € 65.9 million.