About the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
Membership of the Committee
FAO and WHO have complementary functions in selecting experts to serve on the Committee. FAO is responsible for selecting members with chemical expertise for the development of specifications for the identity and purity of food additives, for the assessment of residue levels of veterinary drugs in food, and to assess the quality of the monitoring data. WHO is responsible for selecting members for the toxicological evaluations of the substances under consideration, in order to establish acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), or other relevant guidance values, or to give a quantitative estimate of the health risk. Both FAO and WHO invite members who are responsible for assessing exposure.
Both organizations establish listings of experts, called rosters; appointments are for a period of five years. Experts are selected from those rosters for each meeting, in which capacity they either attend the meeting as members or assist the Secretariat with preparatory work before the meeting and usually participate in the meeting itself. The selection of members for each meeting is made after a careful consideration of the scientific credentials of the various candidates, and a balance of scientific expertise and other experience that is considered essential considering the items on the agenda of the meeting. FAO and WHO meet the costs of experts’ attendance at JECFA meetings.
Being a joint committee of FAO and WHO, the organizational framework of JECFA complies with the rules of both organizations. The selection process for experts is undertaken in mutual consultation by the Joint Secretariats. When calling for and selecting experts, FAO and WHO assure that selections complement each other. The selection process respects as well FAO and WHO policies on regional representation and gender balance.