In the first week of his presidency of the commission, Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled the EPSC as a revamped version of the bureau of European policy advisers (BEPA). EFDD member of the industry, research and energy committee Roger Helmer said, "the attitude of parliamentarians to the issue of the chief scientific adviser [was] determined to a considerable extent by their opinion on the salient issue of the day". He added, "there is concern among some that the holder of the post was a supporter of GM crops, rightly in my view, and was dropped because this opinion was an embarrassment to Jean-Claude Juncker. So on those grounds I regret her passing."
Helmer said Juncker had "decided to appease big green" and that the decision was "a coup [for] the green lobby".
The EFDD member praised the outgoing CSA Professor Anne Glover for "[holding] the line against green prejudice on GM".
He concluded by outlining his fear that scientific advisers might "tend to toe the line on, say, climate change" and said "science has become highly politicised, with publication, tenure and promotion all dependent upon their supporting the orthodoxy".
The post of CSA was the subject of severe criticism from non-governmental organisations for concentrating too much influence in one individual. The outgoing CSA was criticised by corporate Europe observatory, Greenpeace and campaigners against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in July for her "one-sided, partial opinions in the debate" on the safety of GMO foods.
The newly formed EPSC will "provide professional and targeted advice to the president" and be composed of six specialist teams in the areas of economics, social affairs, sustainable development, foreign affairs, institutions and communications.