Declaration of interests

Throughout my entire scientific career spanning more than 40 years, I have worked independently with the sole purpose of defending public health.

I am doing risk assessments and was never involved in risk management issues at the Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland.

Current activities:
  • Member of the Scientific Committe of the European Food Safety Authority   (EFSA)
  • Chair of the EFSA Working Group on Benchmark Dose Modelling (standing WG)
  • Member of the following active EFSA working groups:
    - CONTAM Panel Experts
    - Feed Flavourings
    - Genotoxicity
    New Approach Methodologies (NAMS)
    - NDA Panel-Substances other than vitamins/minerals

    - Novel Foods
    - Risk-Benefit Assessment

  • Member of the 96. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA) in June/July 2023.

Declaration of interests for the European Food Safety Authority EFSA:

Details see or

08/1984 - 09/2012: Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, Switzerland, Head of the Nutritional and
                               Toxicological Risks Section.
01/1994-12/2010:   Senate Commission on Food Safety of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
06/1998 - now:       Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JEFCA),
                               WHO Food Safety Panel.

01/2014 - 05/2014  World Health Organization: WHO Project to Review the Threshold of
                               Toxicological Concern Approach
01/1999-12/2010:   International Life Science Institute ILSI Europe, Scientific Advisory Committee.
01/1999 - 04/2012: ILSI Europe Expert Groups.
01/2008 - 04/2012: Health and Environmental Science Institute HESI, U.S.A., Board of Trustees
                               & Program Strategy and Stewardship Committee.
10/2009-09/2011:   Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the U.S.A (FEMA), Ad-hoc
                               consultant to the Expert Panel (GRAS Program, “generally recognized as

03/2009 - 04/2018: The European Food Information Council (EUFIC), Scientific Advisory Board.
10/2012 - 03/2014: FOPH, Food Safety Division, Ad-Hoc scientific advice regarding questions
                               on food safety.

Tobacco-related activities:

In the 1970s I did research at an university institute (ETH Zürich) that received research funding from the tobacco industry (see CV). For my diploma work and for my doctoral thesis I looked at the psychopharmacological effects of nicotine (and other psychoactive substances). The research for the diploma was unpaid and during my doctoral thesis I received a salary according to the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Tobacco-related work at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH):

From 1984 - 2012 I was an employee of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH (see CV). Besides my main function as a food toxicologist, in the early years, I was a member of the Swiss Federal Tobacco Commission (Eidgenössische Tabakkommission) on behalf of the FOPH. As a consequence of the wine falsification incident with diethylene glycol in Austria, which was also a tobacco additive, I was asked by the FOPH to evaluate anso tobacco additives.  Furthermore, I was also defending the position of the FOPH regarding a special filter used for an "ultra-light" cigarette: when using the usual analytical procedure for measuring the nicotine and tar content of cigarettes, this filter was leading to too low levels. The FOPH questioned the levels given by the manufacturer and further research confirmed that this cigarette was not an "ultra-light" cigarette and the labelling was corrected. Later I was asked to evaluate water pipe smoke on behalf of the FOPH. 

Studies on passive smoking:

In 1983 I was asked by the Association Suisse des Fabricant de Cigarettes to perform a literature review on passive smoking with the aim of publishing this work in a leading scientific journal. The industry association was concerned about the wording in my article in relation to certain health risks and requested changes. I refused to do so and as a consequence the paper was never published. I was, however, remunerated by the association for the work I had undertaken. Throughout my entire career, this research project was the only one funded directly to me by the tobacco industry.

Literature review Schlatter on passive smoking on behalf of the Associacion Suisse de Fabricants des Cigarettes ASFC. Original (unpublished) version October 1983:

Letter to the ASFC with my reasoning for refusing to publish the revised literature review on passive smoking with my name on it (original in German):
English translation:

The International Energy Agency (IEA):

During the years 1984-87 I was a member of a working group "Minimum Ventilation Rates" of the International Energy Agency IEA (delegate of the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Physiology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. Main topic: Health effects of passive smoking). I was paid for this work by the ETH, based on a grant from the IEA. This work aimed at protecting human health by defining indoor-air minimum ventilation rates to reduce human exposure to toxic chemicals (e.g. environmental tobacco smoke ETS, formaldehyde gasing out from furniture, or radon). For ETS, the assessment was based on indoor-air concentrations of carbon momoxide and particulate matter to avoid acute eye irritation. Our scientific opinion at the time was that when exposure to ETS is reduced to a level below which no acute eye irritation occurs, this would also reduce/minimize the risk of lung cancer from passive smoking. However, if the criteria for a satisfactory air quality are avoidance of any annoyance any health risk even for the most sensitive persons, the only strategy would be to separate smokers from non-smokers.

Report of the EUROPEAN CONCERTED ACTION “INDOOR AIR QUALITY & ITS IMPACT ON MAN” (formerly COST Project 613) Report No. 11 Guidelines for Ventilation Requirements in Buildings:

Assistance at the University Hospital of Zürich:

In 1984, during my research fellowship at the Perinatalphysiology lab at the Department of Gynecology, Clinic of Obstetrics, I was involved in a project investigating effects of different stressors (e.g. travelling, sports) on pregnant women, which included also (Passive-)smoking.