European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) controlled by Agrar Mafia


(download a pdf of the report)

EFSA’s mission is to provide independent scientific advice to the European institutions on food safety matters. Assessing the risks related to industry products represents about two thirds of its workload.

In 2013 Corporate Europe Observatory performed a systematic assessment 1 of all EFSA panels, and found that almost 60 percent of EFSA’s experts had direct and/or indirect financial interests with companies whose products the Authority was assessing. These include products European citizens put in their shopping baskets and feed to their families every day.

Conflict of interest scandals have kept erupting regularly (on most issues but in particular food additives, pesticides, GMOs, nutrition recommendations…) ever since NGOs and the media discovered that EFSA’s independence policy was, essentially, dysfunctional.

Today, we publish an updated assessment of EFSA’s ten scientific panels (211 experts), whose outcome is, despite commitments by the agency to improve his recruitment, only slightly better: the proportion of experts with a financial conflict of interest has only gone down from 59% to 46%2.

While EFSA’s draft new independence policy is a very marginal improvement to the current one, it still reproduces its main problems and loopholes. To illustrate each of the main flaws in this policy, for each loophole we publish a sample of experts currently sitting on EFSA’s panels who have financial interests in regulated companies (or their lobby groups).

Unless the agency’s Board takes serious ownership of developing the new independence policy – which thus far has clearly been steered by EFSA’s management to keep business as usual at the agency – it is highly unlikely to be fit for purpose.

The reason for this situation is simple: EFSA has few resources and has always prioritised excellence over independence. However, this is a false dichotomy: for a public food safety regulator, excellence is impossible to reach without independence from the food industry.

Furthermore, it is entirely possible to preserve both EFSA’s integrity and access to the best expertise by inviting the broadest range of experts, including those from industry, to dedicated hearings, but leaving the deliberation and writing phases of EFSA’s scientific opinions to independent experts. It is difficult to understand why EFSA’s management has not opted for such a system, in place for instance at the International Agency for Research Against Cancer and whose robustness has been demonstrated in the recent glyphosate drama.

The European Parliament has demanded every year for the past four years that when EFSA appoints new experts, as a matter of principle, it respects a two-years cooling-off period for financial interests in all regulated companies (and organisations funded by them).

But EFSA’s management has been opposed to the idea from the very start. Today, all the signals we receive from this agency are that it simply will not do it. We hope EFSA’s Management Board will prove us wrong.

I. Financial conflicts of interest in EFSA’s scientific panels

In July 2015, EFSA renewed its panels (panels are appointed for three years). It described its new experts by announcing that “many of them come from universities and research institutes”. Did this mean that these new panels are, on average, more independent from companies EFSA exists to regulate?

Indeed, EFSA is not any scientific organisation but a public regulatory agency, whose assessment means life or death in the EU for regulated products in the agribusiness and food industries. Following the financial interests of its external experts points to many structures and tactics industry uses to make sure EFSA says the ‘right’ thing.

Our updated (but simpler) assessment shows not much has improved: the proportion of financial conflicts of interest has remained very high. 46% of panel members3 have at least one financial conflict of interest with a regulated company. Among the experts composing the 2015-2018 EFSA panels, 52% are re-appointments.

Strikingly, the proportion of experts with conflicts of interest in 2013 among these re-appointments is almost exactly the same as the general proportion of experts with conflicts of interest in 2012-2015 (59%). Difficult not to see this result as a sign that EFSA’s management did not take independence from the food industry at all into consideration when deciding whether or not to re-appoint these experts. Beyond PR and a few small measures, EFSA has clearly not taken significant action on the problems we had identified.

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Pasuria e politikanëve kosovarë 300 milionë euro!


300 milionë euro, pasuria e politikanëve kosovarë

300 milionë euro, pasuria e politikanëve kosovarë

09:08, 15/06/2017

Pasuria e kabinetit qeveritar, si dhe e 120 deputetëve të Parlamentit të Kosovës vlerësohet rreth 300 milionë euro. Vetëm zëvendëskryeministri Ramiz Kelmendi ka deklaruar pasuri në vlerë prej 106 milionë eurosh, shkruan sot Gazeta „Zëri“

Pothuajse çdonjëri nga 120 deputetët e Parlamentit të Republikës së Kosovës ka pasuri milionëshe, duke përfshirë këtu patundshmërinë e deklaruar, si dhe depozitat e majme që i mbajnë në sistemin bankar.

Sipas formularëve të deklarimit të pasurisë të publikuar dje nga Agjencia Kosovare Kundër Korrupsionit (AKK), gazeta “Zëri” ka bërë një kalkulim të pasurisë së deklaruar të zyrtarëve të lartë shtetërorë në Kosovë, e cila rezulton të jetë rreth 300 milionë euro.

Më i pasuri nga të gjithë politikanët është zëvendëskryeministri në largim Ramiz Kelmendi, i cili ka deklaruar aksione në rrjetin e supermarketeve “ETC”, që vlejnë hiç më pak se 106 milionë euro.

Ai po ashtu ka deklaruar se ka në pronësi dy shtëpi në vlerë prej 230 mijë eurosh, toka në vlerë prej 45 mijë eurosh, si dhe 3200 euro para të gatshme në bankë.

Pas Kelmendit me pasuri aktualisht prin kryetari i Komunës së Mitrovicës Jugore Agim Bahtiri dhe pasuria, të cilën ky e ka deklaruar në Agjencinë Kundër Korrupsionit, është më e madhe se 7 milionë euro.

Ai ka deklaruar se ka në pronësi 4 shtëpi në vlerë prej 1 milion e 360 mijë eurosh, si dhe një sipërfaqe të madhe të tokës në vlerë prej 6.2 milionë eurosh