International Engagements

My contributions to international food safety:

(See also my CV, section membership)

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA):

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is an interna-tional scientific expert committee that is administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FAO and the World Health Organi-sation WHO. It has been meeting since 1956, initially to evaluate the safety of food additives. Its work now also includes the evaluation of contaminants, naturally occurring toxicants and residues of veterinary drugs in food. To date, JECFA has evaluated more than 2600 food additives, approximately 50 contami-nants and naturally occurring toxicants, and residues of approximately 95 veteri-nary drugs. The Committee also develops principles for the safety assessment of chemicals in food that are consistent with current thinking on risk assessment and take account of recent developments in toxicology and other relevant sciences. You can find further details at:

The first JECFA meeting I attended was the 51. Jecfa in June 1998 (see CV). My JECFA involvement was primarily in the area of contaminants and naturally occurring toxicants in food, but also food additives. All the evaluations I was directly responsible for (i.e. for preparing the first draft of the monograph of the Committee) are listed under "Book chapters and reports". All JECFA evaluations are available in full at:

The EU Scientific Committee on Food (SCF):

The SCF was originally established by European Commission in 1974 to advise the Commission on any problem relating to the protection of the health and safety of persons arising or likely to arise from the consumption of food, in particular on nutritional, hygienic and toxicological issues. The members of the SCF are indepen-dent persons, highly qualified in the fields associated with medicine, nutrition, toxicology, biology, chemistry, or other similar disciplines. The responsibility for the Secretariat of the SCF was transferred from Directorate General III "Industry" to Directorate General XXIV "Consumer Policy and Consumer Health Protection" with effect from 1 st April 1997. Most of Community Directives and Regulations related to foodstuffs, require the Commission to consult the Committee on provisions which may have an effect on public health falling within the scope of these direc-tives and regulations. In 2003 the 5 scientific committees giving the Commission scientific advice on food safety were transferred to the European Food Safety Authority as well as the Scientific Steering Committee's responsibilities on scientific advice on BSE/TSE.

During the years 2000 - 2003, I was a member of the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) of European Commission. About 100 scientific opinions, statements and reports were published during this time by the SCF. You can find further details at:

During 1998 until 2000 I was a member of the TSE/BSE ad-hoc group of the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) of the European Commission.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an independent European agency funded by the EU budget that operates separately from the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States. The EFSA was established in 2002 and became operational in 2003. The 10 EFSA Scientific Panels are responsible for EFSA’s risk assessment work including delivering scientific opinions. Each Panel focuses on a different area of the food and feed chain. The Scientific Committee and the Panels are composed of independent scientific experts with a thorough knowledge of risk assessment from universities, research institutions and national food safety authorities. All members are appointed through an open selection procedure on the basis of proven scientific excellence, including experience in risk assessment and peer-reviewing scientific work and publications. You can find further details at:

From its inauguration until 2012, I was chairing the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM). During this time, the Panel published 107 scientific opinions and statements in the EFSA Journal (55 dealing with contaminants in food, 42 in feed and 10 with both in food and feed).

Also from its inauguration until present, I am a member of the EFSA Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee has the task of supporting the work of the Panels on cross-cutting issues and scientific matters of a horizontal nature. It focuses on developing harmonised risk assessment methodologies in fields where EU-wide approaches are not yet defined. The Scientific Committee is composed of the Chairs of the Scientific Panels and of six scientific experts who do not belong to any of the Scientific Panels. The first 9 years I was in the EFSA Scientific Committee as chair of the CONTAM Panel. From 2012 onward, I was elected as one of the six EFSA Scientific Committee members not belonging to any of the Scientific Panels.

Between 2003 and 2012, the SC published 16 scientific opinions and statements and 8 guidance documents, which can also be found in the EFSA Journal.

The European Food Information Council (EUFIC):

EUFIC is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet. Information that EUFIC publishes has been subject to a review process by members of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). During the years 2009 - 2018, I was a member of the SAB.