Robert van Gorcom, the director of RIKILT Wageningen UR, was appointed to the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on Tuesday 17 June 2014. He is the only Dutch member of the Board.
Robert van Gorcom
Robert van Gorcom, born in 1956, earned a degree in Molecular Science from Wageningen University and earned his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam. After a twenty-year career in molecular microbiology at the Dutch research institute TNO, he came to Wageningen UR in 2000. Initially he managed the horticulture research programme before transferring to RIKILT Institute of Food Safety in 2002. He was appointed General Director of RIKILT in 2010.
EFSA's Management Board consists of fifteen members, all of whom possess extensive knowledge of and experience with the food chain. They are appointed by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (the council of Ministers of Agriculture from the European member states), which asks the advice of the European Parliament in this matter. EFSA's Management Board is independent and its members do not represent any government, organisation or sector. They work strictly in the interest of consumers. The Board has an important role in shaping EFSA policy and safeguards the organisation's independent character. The European Commission is also represented on the Board.
The Management Board exerts no influence on the scientific advice provided by EFSA. This is the responsibility of EFSA's Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee.
The activities of EFSA concern the entire food production process, 'from field to plate'. This includes the entire process from primary production (including the safety of animal feed) to the delivery of foods to the consumer. In addition, EFSA is also concerned with animal welfare (both food-producing animals and experimental animals) and plant diseases (both food-producing plants and decorative plants). EFSA gathers information from all over the world, follows scientific developments at close hand and shares its findings with experts, decision-makers and the general public. EFSA primarily shares information via its website but also through the press.