Last month saw the annual European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) Stakeholder Forum, an event which sought to stimulate and simplify dialogue between the European Agency and official stakeholders. The event also aimed to exchange views on EFSA’s ongoing work and plans for the future. The relatively new and bolstered role of academic organisations was recognised by EFSA as a positive and much needed aspect of stakeholder interaction.
The discussions quickly focused on ‘scientific uncertainty’ and how to effectively communicate it. Participants debated and took part in exercises linked to the recent EFSA consultation on its draft “Guidance on Communication of Uncertainty in Scientific Assessments” – a call for feedback which EuChemS responded to, highlighting the need to make a clearer distinction between measurement uncertainty and uncertainty caused by other sources. We moreover encouraged EFSA to align terminology with existing international terminology, and also provided several relevant references from scientific literature.
The event, chaired by EFSA Executive Director Bernhard Url was a lively and debate-stimulating one, which effectively allowed all stakeholders to make themselves heard. Further events and activities between EFSA and stakeholders are foreseen for the future.
More information available on the EFSA website: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/181120