The European Union’s permanent committee for the food chain and animal health has approved a draft regulation that lays down how the new European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) should decide which scientific inquiries to undertake.

The rule gives the authority the right to refuse a request to investigate a problem if it considers such research might replicate work already carried out; this would apply to formal demands from EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as informal suggestions.

A publicly available register of such requests is to be established and the decision making process has to be transparent and open.