SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain
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  INTERESTS Printable version   |   Last update on 09.06.2017

The Scientific Committee is fully aware of the importance of its independent and transparent functioning. To this end, she has developed a policy for the declaration of interests by members and external experts and for managing conflicts of interest.

The independent and transparent functioning of the Scientific Committee is guaranteed at different levels:

1st level: at the selection and appointment of members of the Scientific Committee for a 4-year mandate

The 22 members of the Scientific Committee are appointed by the King for a term of 4 years, on the advice of a selection committee,. The selection committee is composed by ministerial decree. She assesses the candidates on the basis of their scientific profile regarding the food chain and the complementarity of their individual expertise.

Candidate members must be able to work independently and impartially of any external influence. They may not belong to the management board, the direction or the staff of a profit-making establishment which markets food products and which is subjected to the control of the Food Safety Agency. They declare the interests that may be considered as detrimental to their independence.

2nd level: at the general functioning of the Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee has house rules and an ethical code containing provisions relating to its internal operation. Thus, the house rules stipulate that during the first plenary session at which a member starts a new mandate, he must declare on honor not to belong to the management board, the direction or the staff of a profit-making establishment which markets food products and which is subjected to the control of the Food Safety Agency. The member must also declare to inform without delay the Chairman of the Committee if in this situation a change occurs and declare to comply with the provisions of the house rules.

After their nomination members sign a general declaration of interests on honor. This declaration is published on the website of the Scientific Committee website (see page "Members").

3rd level: during the treatment of individual dossiers (requests for advice)

With each new dossier and at the start of each plenary session, members of the Committee are asked to declare potential interests through the declaration of interest per individual dossier and this before the start of the discussion of the dossier. Interests may be related to financial or familial situations, to intellectual property rights and to professional activities carried out in favor of a company, an stakeholder group or a sector.

The presence of an interest does not automatically mean the existence of a conflict of interest. The declarations are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Bureau. This is composed of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Scientific Committee and the Director of the Staff Direction for risk assessment of the Food Safety Agency. After examination of the declaration of interest, the Bureau decides whether there is a conflict of interest and if and how the member may participate in the treatment, discussion or deliberation of the dossier. In the event that this interest could interfere with the independence and impartiality of the member, the existence of a conflict of interest is confirmed and the member is excluded from participation in the discussion of the dossier and from the validation of the opinion.

4th level: at the joint validation of the opinion

Opinions are issued in consensus, which means that they are obtained after joint analysis by the entire Scientific Committee. Possible interests of individual members cannot therefore prevail in the final opinion that is jointly validated.

5th level: at the publication of opinions and the notification of Committee members with a conflict of interest

All opinions of the Scientific Committee are made public. Members with conflicts of interest have been nominatively mentioned in the opinions since 2013. They do not participate in the deliberation or the validation of the opinion.

 
   
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