Restoring consumer confidence and trust in food decision making has been a priority both in the UK and now for the EU. The challenge for the EU, whose political institutions are seen as undemocratic, unresponsive and not in touch with citizens' concerns, is considerable. As in the UK, politicians are putting their faith in a new agency and plans for a European Food Authority are well advanced. The setting up of an EFA is an important and a welcome reform. But if European politicians think such an authority can solve all their problems, not only with consumers but also with their trade partners, they are likely to be disappointed. Why? Because despite its importance, the EFA's role will be limited to that of scientific risk assessment, while risk management will remain firmly within the commission's remit. But past failings have largely been the failings of risk management and policy-making ­ not of scientific risk assessment. Consequently the EFA will be unable adequately to address future crises. The NCC believes that we need much more extensive reform of European food regulatory decision-making structures and procedures ­ setting up an EFA is only the start. In particular, the commission must subject its own practices and procedures to the spotlight of good governance and more democratic and accountable decision-making. The EU must learn to communicate more successfully with its citizens and its various stakeholder interests. Effective consultation and stakeholder dialogue need to be developed and adequately resourced. Otherwise, the crisis in public confidence in food is unlikely to be resolved soon ­ surely an unwelcome outcome for everyone. {{NEWS }}