New rules were recently enacted on the transparency of Europe's risk assessment process in the food chain.

Companies will now need to show a product is safe when marketing a new food additive, pesticide, or genetically modified organism, and to do this, it must submit studies to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

With the new legislation, all submitted studies and scientific data will be revealed to the public on EFSA's website. The only exceptions are if reasons of confidentiality and commercial harm can be justified.

To see if other relevant data or studies are available, EFSA will consult the public and other partners before preparing a scientific output.

The new legislation was enacted in response to a European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate, and a review of the General Food Law regulation, completed in January 2018. In 2019, the legislation was adopted by the European Council and European Parliament. 

The European Commission will complete fact-finding missions at laboratories during the next four years to assess whether they apply the relevant standards for tests and studies submitted to EFSA as part of the application process.

More transparency on EU scientific work will reinforce consumer trust, said Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, in charge of health and food safety.

There will also be a period of adjustment during which much of EFSA's work will be continued under the previous rules and legal provisions, since new arrangements are not being implemented retroactively.