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Suzy Renckens

Former employer: 
European Food Safety Authority
Former function: 
Head of GMO unit (for 5 years)
New function: 
Regional Manager for Biotechnology Regulatory Affairs
New employer: 
Syngenta
Nationality: 
Belgium
Policy area: 
Date of Revolving Door: 
May, 2008
Institutional reaction: 

EFSA approved this role without restrictions. 

Other info: 

Testbiotech complained about the way that the Renckens revolving door case was handled by EFSA and a very damning ruling by the European Ombudsman on this complaint was made on 23 May 2013. According to the Ombudsman's conclusions, EFSA “failed to fulfil the procedural obligations emanating from the applicable rules” and did not “acknowledge its failure to observe the relevant procedural rules and to carry out a sufficiently thorough assessment of the potential conflict of interests (…).” Furthermore “EFSA unduly restricted the scope of what might amount to a possible conflict of interest (...).” The Ombudsman also set out recommendations for how EFSA should handle such revolving door cases in the future. (Source: European Ombudsman's ruling 23 May 2013)

The European Court of Auditors also looked at conflicts of interest issues in four EU agencies, including EFSA in it's critical 2012 report.

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: 

"CEO is very concerned about how EFSA handled this revolving door case and considers that a cooling off period of two years would have been appropriate. We therefore welcome the European Ombudsman's 23 May 2013 ruling on this case which showed the inadequacies of EFSA's approach to revolving door cases. The Ombudsman makes some important recommendations which should lead to changes in how revolving door rules are implemented across all EU institutions, including at the Commission and at EFSA. We continue to see further scandalous revolving doors cases and it is vital that the EU institutions, starting with the Commission, put improved rules and procedures in place to prevent future conflicts of interest, including a proper cooling off period. It is time for a new start. No more business as usual."

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