Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association, said: "The removal of the post of Chief Scientific Adviser is a backward step, and troubling at a time when scientific endeavour should have a more important role than ever in tackling many European policy issues; not least in response to the food security challenge.
"The food and agriculture industry has long been calling for scientific evidence and research to play a stronger part in policy decisions, and for the role of chief scientists in decision-making to be increased. It is our belief that regulation should be risk-based and that the precautionary principle and its relationship to assessing risk should be reviewed. Indeed, through our Healthy Harvest campaign we are calling for scientific advice to be more embedded and formalised across EU institutions and policy making.
"The removal of the Chief Scientific Adviser role sends a clear message that scientific advice is not taken seriously at the highest levels in Europe, which is concerning.
"We urge President Juncker to clarify his future plans for the role of scientific advice in future policy-making and to ensure that sound science plays a higher role in future regulation."