European Parliament in EU transparency move

Publication date: 
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Media title: 

"Earlier this month the European Ombudsman, Nikiforos Diamandouros, criticised the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) over the case of an EFSA head of unit who had moved to a biotechnology company in 2008."


The ombudsman said the EFSA should have done a more thorough assessment of the potential conflict of interest in the case of Suzy Renckens, who had headed the EFSA's Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Unit.

"A German biotechnology NGO, Testbiotech (together with ALTER-EU steering committee member CEO), had complained to the ombudsman about Ms Renckens's move to Syngenta, which took place less than two months after she had left the EFSA, without a "cooling off" period.

Campaigners for EU transparency say there ought to be proper "cooling off" periods to prevent "revolving doors" - cases where EU officials take up lucrative jobs as private consultants in areas where they have expertise and influential contacts."