EU food safety chief forced to quit GM lobby role
28 October 2010
A key figure in charge of food safety within the EU has been forced to quit her director role at a pro-GM group, reports The Ecologist.
European Green MEPs had called for European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) chair Diana Banati's resignation after she had failed to disclose her seat on the board of directors of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI), which advises biotech corporations including Monsanto, Bayer and BASF.
EFSA was set up in January 2002, following a series of food crises in the late 1990s, as an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain and to ensure a high level of consumer protection, and restore and maintain confidence in the EU food supply.
However, Banati has been re-elected as chair of the European food safety watchdog after EFSA confirmed she had resigned from "positions which may create a potential conflict of interest".
Campaigners said her links were "unbelievable" and brought into question both the judgement of the EFSA’s senior management and the impartiality of the organisation as a whole.