Yesterday The Grocer reported that Dr Banati, was asked to resign over a potential conflict of interest between her work with EFSA and her plan to become executive and scientific director at the International Life Sciences Institute, a pro-GM body where she sat on the board until 2010.
In 2010, French Green MEP José Bové called for the resignation of the chair of the management board of European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), Dr. Diana Banati, over a conflict of interest scandal.
He outlined the details of Dr Banati’s extensive links to the food industry, which completely undermined the need for independence at the EFSA.
Among its other roles, the EFSA is responsible for assessing genetically modified organisms as part of the EU approval process, for which it has been frequently criticised.
According to José Bové, Dr Banati was a member of the board of the International Life Science Institute, an organisation representing a myriad of businesses, including Monsanto, Syngenta, Dupont, Nestlé and Kraft, among others, which has a history of lobbying for the interests of the food industry.
ILSI describes itself as a ‘non-profit, worldwide organisation whose mission is to provide science that improves public health and well-being.’
EFSA had already faced one conflict of interest controversy, with the revolving door case of GM regulator Suzy Renckens who moved from EFSA to food industry giant Syngenta.
The Mail Online reports that Green campaigners are demanding that any decisions made by EFSA to approve GM crops and food in recent years should be revoked pending further investigation.