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The main task of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels is to prepare scientific advice (opinions) in the name of the Agency. The Committee and Panels bring together highly qualified independent experts from Europe and beyond with expertise in a range of risk assessment fields (toxicology, contaminants in the food chain, biological hazards, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), feedstuffs, plant health and plant protection products, animal health and welfare, dietetic products, allergies, novel foods and nutrition). 


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. Appointments are made by the Management Board for three-year terms which may be renewed.


The Scientific Committee (SC) is composed of heads of Panels and six independent experts. It:


  • prepares scientific advice in the area of new and harmonised approaches for risk assessment of food and feed;
  • provides strategic advice to the Executive Director;
  • supports the work of EFSA’s Scientific Panels on scientific matters of a horizontal nature;
  • prepares advice on scientific co-operation and networking with scientific experts and research organisations nationally and internationally.


Scientific Panels carry out risk assessment work in their respective specialized fields, as follows:



Working groups involving external scientists with relevant expertise are regularly set up by the Panels to deal with specific issues and to help produce scientific opinions.