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Alleged conflict of interest of members of a working group on genetically modified insects

Summary of the decision on complaint 346/2013/SID against the European Food Safety Authority

The complainant is a UK NGO which monitors developments in the field of genetic technologies. It complained about the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA's) handling of alleged conflict of interest issues involving members of an EFSA working group on genetically modified insects.

The Ombudsman found that EFSA should have requested one member of the working group to provide it with details of the financial relationship between his university employer and a biotechnology company which promotes genetically modified insects. The Ombudsman further suggested that EFSA should revise its conflict of interest rules and the related instructions and forms it uses for declarations of interests.