Representatives from national food safety agencies met with EU commissioner for health David Byrne this week, to discuss the establishment of an advisory forum for the European Food Authority (EFA).

The meeting sought to identify the agencies that would be represented in the forum, set to be one of the key bodies of the EFA. Byrne revealed that he is pressing ahead with the creation of the forum in a bid to see the EFA operational as soon as possible.

"It is high time we started pooling scientific and technical resources and set up an integrated scientific network between European and national authorities," he commented.

The EFA is being established to boost consumer confidence after a series of high profile food safety scares, including BSE, and the issue of GM foods. Organisers hope to achieve this through scientific cooperation between national bodies in Europe.

There are three serious contenders for the city host of the EFA; Barcelona, Helsinki and Parma. Other cities may yet emerge as candidates, however.

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers are currently examining legislation to set up the authority, which should be fully adopted by 12 June.

To read about Barcelona's bid to host the EFA, click here.

To read about Helsinki's bid, click here.

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