Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998

Scientific Committee.

34.—(1) There shall be established, as soon as may be after the establishment day, by the Board a committee (“the Scientific Committee”) to assist and advise the Board in relation to matters of a scientific nature referred to it by the Board and to perform the functions assigned to it by this section.

(2) The Scientific Committee shall consist of not more than 15 members.

(3) The Scientific Committee shall adopt rules and procedures for the conduct of its meetings and its activities generally and shall submit such rules and procedures to the Board for its approval.

(4) The members (including the chairperson) of the Scientific Committee shall be appointed by the Minister following consultations with the Board.

(5) The Minister when appointing a member of the Scientific Committee shall, in consultation with the Board—

(a) fix such member's period of membership,

(b) fix the terms of his or her membership,

(c) have regard to the range of qualifications and experience necessary for the proper and effective discharge of the functions of the Scientific Committee, and in particular, have regard to such qualifications and experience in relation to food safety and hygiene, and

(d) ensure, in so far as is practicable, an equitable balance between men and women in any appointments.

(6) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Scientific Committee shall advise the Board where requested by the Board on matters relating to—

(a) scientific and technical questions relating to food safety and hygiene,

(b) the implementation and administration of food inspection services, and

(c) the nutritional value or content of food.

(7) The Board may specify a period within which advice on matters referred to the Scientific Committee shall be given by the Scientific Committee.

(8) The Board shall not act on any matter it has referred to the Scientific Committee until the Board has received advice from the Scientific Committee on the matter within the time period specified by the Board.

(9) The Scientific Committee may, having established to the best of its ability the budgetary and other resource implications and having—

(a) advised the Board on any matter referred to it by the Board, undertake such other or further investigation, assessment, research or examination into the matter as the Scientific Committee considers appropriate, or

(b) first informed the Board, initiate an investigation, assessment or examination of any matter related to food safety and hygiene as the Scientific Committee considers appropriate.

(10) Where the Scientific Committee undertakes or initiates anything referred to in subsection (9), the Board may set a time limit for receipt by it of the Scientific Committee's advice and the Board shall take no action on or in relation to the subject matter so undertaken or initiated until such time limit has expired or advice has been received, whichever first occurs.

(11) Where the Board has not set such a time limit for receipt of the Scientific Committee's advice on any matter undertaken or initiated by it under subsection (9), the Board may, at its own discretion, delay or defer any action on or in relation to the subject matter undertaken or initiated until advice by the Scientific Committee has been given to it.

(12) The Scientific Committee shall give advice under this section to the Board through the chairperson of the Scientific Committee.

(13) The advice of the Scientific Committee given under this section may be published by the Board.