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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was set up on 28 January 2002, by Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament  and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, following a series of food safety crises which occurred in the late 1990s.

EFSA is an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain. EFSA was set up as part of a comprehensive program to improve food safety in the EU, ensure a high level of consumer protection and restore and maintain confidence in the EU food supply.

The European food safety system was set up in order to separate risk assessment from risk management.

As its role consists in assessing risks, EFSA produces scientific opinions and advice in order to provide a solid basis for policies and European legislation and to help the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States of the European Union in taking timely and effective risk management decisions.

EFSA’s remit covers food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection. In all these fields, EFSA’s essential task is to provide objective and independent advice based on scientific knowledge.