ANSES and its Chinese counterpart sign a cooperation agreement to promote convergence in food safety standards and monitoring methods

In the framework of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls's official visit to China, ANSES Director General Marc Mortureux signed a cooperation agreement with the Agency's Chinese counterpart, the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA). The cooperation programmes will mainly involve the training of experts and technicians in food analysis and monitoring methods, both in the area of microbiology and chemistry; the comparison of the standards in force in Europe and in China, in the context of their current revision by the CFSA; and risk assessment methodologies.

ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, conducts it risk assessment, monitoring, research and analytic reference activities throughout the entire food chain. Its expert groups and a number of its laboratories (Maisons-Alfort, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Ploufragan, Fougères and Brest) cover the full range of food products and develop the analysis methods required for official quality controls of products placed on the market. It also coordinates several networks for monitoring the microbiological and chemical contamination of foods, and runs observatories, conducts studies and research work, and performs risk assessments to support the public authorities in their management of food risks.

The China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) is a public body created two years ago to revise the standards applicable in China in order to ensure food safety. This centre is also in charge of the risk assessment of all emerging topics and it possesses reference laboratories as well.

An agreement to promote the development of exchanges in the farming and agri-food sectors

ANSES has numerous cooperation projects with various Chinese partners, many of which are long standing.  Such is the case in the veterinary drug field, for research on zoonotic diseases, and also in the area of food safety. The creation of the CFSA, whose activities are very similar to those of ANSES regarding food, offers an interesting opportunity to strengthen cooperation initiatives, which in turn will promote the development of exchanges between the two countries in the farming and agri-food sectors.

The agreement signed on 30 January 2015 in Beijing between Jinfeng Liu, Director General of the CFSA, and Marc Mortureux, Director General of ANSES, aims to develop cooperation in the following areas:

  • microbiological food safety (including food virology, emerging risks and new detection technologies);
  • chemical food safety (including chemical additives, food contact materials and chemical contaminants);
  • food monitoring and control, conducting studies on consumer exposure to contaminants;
  • novel foods, food allergies and intolerances.

This cooperation initiative will involve exchanging scientific information, conducting joint research projects and studies, training personnel, and the cross-participation of experts in scientific seminars organised by each of the parties.