The new body has been created by MEPs from across the European Parliament to champion efforts for greater format harmonization of safety data held by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
MEPs met for the first time to give input into the goals of the working group while the three agencies delivered presentations on the safety data available to them and their individual and collective efforts to make this information publicly accessible within their respective legal mandates. During the session it was discussed how enhanced cooperation on data issues could lead to a reduction in cost and bureaucracy, better promotion of non-animal methods, greater public transparency and a level playing field for industry.
“I think this kick-off meeting has been informative for both parties, for MEPs in terms of seeing what steps are already being taken and for the agencies in terms of understanding what we as MEPs can do to help” said Julie Girling (ECR, UK), the working group Chair. “This could include assistance around funding for new projects, or additional research on legislative barriers.”
“Everyone here today is committed to science-based policymaking and I think that this working group could be a great platform for devising and championing such policies in the future” she said.
The working group will meet quarterly with another meeting planned for early spring. As an official ENVI working group it has been given its mandate by the committee’s coordinators. Due to EMA’s extraordinary situation in view of its upcoming relocation, EMA will currently not actively participate in the group.