Amid Europe's Food Fights, EFSA Keeps Its Eyes on the Evidence

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Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1146-1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6111.1146

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The European Food Safety Authority has angered environmental and consumer groups by ruling that genetically modified organisms and artificial sweeteners pose no health risks—advice governments sometimes choose to ignore. It has been attacked by advocacy groups and politicians for not being totally independent from industry—a charge that inquiries have found not entirely baseless. EFSA has also upset the food and supplement industry by pushing some of the most aggressive evidence-based policies in the world. Starting on 14 December, manufacturers will no longer be able to tout the health effects of thousands of their products on labels and in ads, because EFSA says they have not been proven. Yet the agency has managed to stick to the scientific data despite the pressures.