The European Food Safety Authority plans "a well managed expansion" over the next year to extend its reach, subject to budget restraints.
New executive director Geoffrey Podger argued that the body has limited capacity with its current staff numbers at his first board meeting.
Podger said he wanted EFSA to be at the centre of a network, rather than a lone organisation, and that meant effective co-operation between the authority and member states. EFSA recently set up an advisory forum to encourage understanding and acceptance of the scientific advice of EFSA in Europe. The forum will perform risk assessments in the food sector, and ensure efficient networking with national scientific organisations.
EFSA was allocated an E8m budget by the European Parliament for 2003, half the sum it asked for, although the Budget committee has now recommended it should get further funds ­ yet to be announced.

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