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NGOs join backlash against EU Chief Scientific Advisor

| 2014-09-22 | Hits:
More European non-profit groups have thrown their weight behind a call by Greenpeace and HEAL for the European Commission to scrap the position of Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) held by Anne Glover, in a letter sent to the incoming EU President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Now 13 more non-profit groups, including heavy-hitters such as Friends of the Earth, have added their names to the call, saying a statement by Glover reported earlier this month that her advice should remain immune from public scrutiny is a cause for concern.
“Scientific scrutiny in policymaking is essential,” said Jorgo Riss, the director of Greenpeace EU. “The question is how to ensure that the best representation of wide-ranging advice is available to you and your colleagues. The CSA position does not help and cannot fulfill this purpose because of the fundamental flaws of the role itself.”
The NGOs letter argues that the position should be abolished because objectivity requires consistent response to scientific evidence, such as that presented by the Commission’s own Joint Research Center (JRC).
The NGOs’ contend that this is part of the problem. “Vested interests have long realized that the more you concentrate scientific advice into the hands of one person, the easier it is to control,” they wrote in the joint letter.
“The issue is in the public domain and politicians and scientists are making statements,” a member of Glover’s staff said. “It is better that others speak, than us.”
Edited by Bai Le