At the opening ceremony of the European Food Safety Authority, the Commission President Barroso emphasised the role of the agency in increasing consumer confidence.
“Confident consumers are the cornerstone of a competitive economy, and the EFSA has an important role to play in boosting this confidence,” said Commission President Barroso at the inauguration of the EFSA’s new headquarters in Parma, Italy.
Designed to provide independent scientific advice on food and feed safety, the authority was set up in January 2002 after a series of food safety alarms.
Relying on a network of 500 external scientific experts, EFSA is primarily responsible for food and feed risk assessment, as the Commission stays in charge of risk management and proposing actions to be taken. The agency also responds to scientific questions from the European Parliament and the member states, and provides the public with scientific information.
Initially based in Brussels, in December 2003, Parma won the right to host EFSA after a bitter battle with Helsinki.