Ireland’s Contribution to EFSA’s Advisory Forum, National Focal Point and Scientific Committees, Panels and Networks.
National Focal Point
The national focal points are considered EFSA’s ‘ambassadors’ in the Member States. In Ireland, the FSAI is named as the national focal point. They serve as relay contacts between risk managers, national authorities, research institutes, stakeholders and consumers in the Member States and ensure the adequate and timely two-way exchange of all relevant information. The role of the focal point is to keep EFSA and Advisory Forum members informed of national risk assessment and scientific developments. The network of focal points coordinate communications with risk assessment institutes in the Member States and are closely involved in work programmes conducted by EFSA and by national authorities.
Further details on the role of the Focal Point in Ireland can be found in our information leaflet Food Safety Authority of Ireland: EFSA Focal Point.
You can contact the FSAI Focal Point by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article 36 List
The Article 36 List is a list of competent organisations that are eligible to assist EFSA in its tasks through responding to calls for proposals (Article 36 grants).
The organisations included on the Article 36 List are designated by Member States with the support of EFSA Focal Points and must comply with criteria set out in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2230/2004. Since organisations evolve and needs change with regards to scientific and policy developments, the list is regularly reviewed.
Networking with these organisations facilitates the coordination of activities, exchange of information, development and implementation of joint scientific projects, as well as the sharing of expertise and best practices in the fields within EFSA’s remit.
Scientific projects are supported by EFSA through grants and public procurement. Organisations can submit proposals for grants following the publication of calls for proposals (open to Article 36 organisations only) or following publication of calls for tenders (open to all applicants according to the specifications of the call).
Benefits of becoming an Article 36 organisation include; funding opportunities, access to information and networking opportunities. See more information on Article 36 on the EFSA website.
EFSA’s Advisory Forum connects EFSA with the national food safety authorities of all EU Member States. Its members represent each national body responsible for risk assessment in the EU. Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, FSAI, represents Ireland on the Advisory Forum.
The Forum is at the heart of EFSA’s collaborative approach to working with the EU Member States. Through it, EFSA and the Member States can join forces in addressing European risk assessment and risk communications issues.
Members use the Forum to advise EFSA on scientific matters, its work programme and priorities, and to address emerging risk issues as early as possible.
EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels
EFSA’s Scientific Committee and Panels are composed of highly qualified experts in scientific risk assessment, with a breadth of expertise allowing EFSA to address all aspects of its remit: from food and feed safety to nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health.
Members of EFSA’s Scientific Committee and Panels are appointed through a rigorous selection procedure on the basis of proven scientific excellence. The scientists work for EFSA in an independent capacity, bringing their expertise and experience from a diverse range of backgrounds together in a joint assessment result. Over 1,000 scientists applied to become EFSA panel members following a call for experts held in the summer of 2017.
Several Irish experts have been selected to join the EFSA Scientific Committee and Panels from July 2018 to July 2021:
- Prof Simon More, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, University College Dublin has been selected as a Member of the Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee develops harmonised risk assessment methodologies on scientific matters of a horizontal nature in the fields within EFSA's remit where EU-wide approaches are not already defined. It provides general co-ordination to ensure consistency in the scientific opinions prepared by EFSA's Scientific Panels. It also provides strategic scientific advice to EFSA’s management.
- Dr Declan Bolton, Principal Research Officer, Teagasc has been selected as a Member of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards
The Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) provides scientific advice on biological hazards in relation to food safety and food-borne diseases. This covers animal diseases transmissible to humans; transmissible spongiform encephalopathies; food microbiology; food hygiene and associated waste management issues
- Dr Christina Tlustos, Chief Specialist in Chemical Safety, Food Safety Authority of Ireland has been selected as a Member of the Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
The Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF)* evaluates the safety of chemical substances added to food or used in food packaging, and related processes. The Panel's work mainly concerns substances and processes evaluated by EFSA before their use can be authorised in the EU.
- Prof John Kearney, Lecturer, Technological University Dublin has been selected as a Member of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)* deals with questions related to dietetic products, nutrition and food allergies as well as associated subjects such as novel foods.
EU-FORA - The European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme
EFSA’s EU-FORA fellowship programme offers a unique opportunity to motivated early to mid-career scientists from EU national risk assessment authorities and any other Article 36 organisation to increase their knowledge and experience in food safety risk assessment.
The programme’s principal focus lies on chemical and microbiological risk assessment. It is aimed at professionals with a background in fields such as molecular biology, biology, microbiology, veterinary/human medicine, agronomy/agricultural science, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, food technology or toxicology.