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AFCC calls on EC to ensure independent scientific advice

Coalition hopes decision to abolish Chief Scientific Advisor post does not signal move away from evidence-based policymakingThe multi-stakeholder Agri-Food Chain Coalition, which includes 11 European associations representing Europe’s agriculture and food sectors, has called on Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure the importance of independent scientific advice.In a statement issued following the Commission’s decision to end the post of Chief Scientific Advisor, the Agri-Food Chain members said:“Our coalition – which represents about 30 million jobs and 3.5% of the EU’s gross value added – has called for a science-based European policy framework that promotes innovation, jobs, and sustainable growth in the coming years. We have been encouraged by some of the statements of the new Commission in favour of promoting innovation and smarter and better regulation. But we hope that the decision to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor does not signal a move away from solid, evidence-based policymaking. While the job may no longer exist as such, the important goal behind it – ensuring that the European Commission has access to independent scientific advice – must live on. As we have made clear our joint declaration, we look forward to a discussion on how the EU can ensure that science-based policymaking delivers innovation — and economic and social benefits – to all Europeans.”Coalition members had previously written to President Juncker urging him to continue the post.The Agri-Food Chain Coalition1 includes representatives of agricultural input industries such as suppliers of machinery, seeds, fertilizers, crop protection, animal health, feed and biotechnology- based products, the agricultural trade, EU farmers and the European food and drink manufacturing sector. Together, these industries account for about 30 million jobs and 3.5% of the EU’s gross value added.–1CELCAA (European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade), CEMA (European Agricultural Machinery), COCERAL (European Association of cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agrosupply trade), Copa-Cogeca (European Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives), ECPA (European Crop Protection Association), ESA (European Seed Association), EuropaBio (European Associations for BioIndustries), FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers Federation), Fertilisers Europe (European Fertilisers Association), FoodDrinkEurope (European Food and Drink Industry Association), IFAH Europe (European Animal Health Industry).