Ombudsman concludes no maladministration in selection of experts to evaluate the need for non-human primates in research
This case concerned how the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) selected experts to take part in a working group, which drafted an opinion on the use of non-human primates in research.
The complainant argued that the procedure to select the experts was not transparent and that the Commission had not ensured a plurality of views within the working group.
The Ombudsman found that SCHEER did not exceed its broad margin of discretion in selecting experts in this case and that the process was sufficiently transparent. The Ombudsman therefore concluded that there was no maladministration.
Background to the complaint
1. The complaint, submitted by a UK organisation that campaigns for the abolition of all animal experiments, is about how the European Commission ensures that experts for working groups of the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) are selected in an impartial and transparent manner.
3. In 2008, the Commission asked SCHEER for an opinion on the use of non-human primates (NHPs) in research. The opinion, issued in 2009, concluded that, from a scientific point of view, the use of NHPs was essential for scientific progress in a number of important areas of disease research and safety testing.