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Laura Smillie

Former employer: 
European Food Information Council (for 5 years)
Former function: 
Communications manager
New function: 
Communications directorate
New employer: 
European Food Safety Authority
not known
Policy area: 
Date of Revolving Door: 
May, 2010
Institutional reaction: 

There are no clear revolving door rules and procedures which govern staff who join the EU institutions. Article 11 of the Staff Regulations covers personal or private conflicts of interest for current staff although it is a far from water-tight process. In reply to a complaint letter from Testbiotech, Food & Water Europe and CEO, EFSA Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Laneelle wrote "I did not find any breach of the related governing legal provisions" with regards to Laura Smillie and Article 11.

Other info: 

One of Smillie’s responsibilities at EFSA is for ‘risk communication’ guidelines. This was also an area that she was responsible for at EUFIC. There the approach to risk communication was developed to serve the interests of the companies represented by EUFIC (including Coca-Cola, Danone, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Unilever) ie. to limit the media impact of a food crisis and potential losses for the food industry. 

More information is available in the ALTER-EU report: Block the revolving door - why we need to stop EU officials becoming lobbyists: http://www.alter-eu.org/revolving-doors

Comment from CEO: 

"EFSA never replied to the second complaint letter which we and other NGOs wrote about this case which raises significant questions regarding Ms Smillie's role and conflicts of interest. CEO is aware that the Court of Auditors is currently investigating how EFSA and other EU agencies tackle potential conflicts of interest and we will be interested to read their conclusions when they pubish in early 2012".

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