ANSES has provided France with a unique structure in terms of reference, monitoring and research, which is the envy of Europe. To support its risk assessment activities, the 600 scientists and technicians in this network of laboratories work on identifying major pathogens in animal and plant health, and developing methods for identifying biological, physical or chemical contaminants in food and water.
Because of the diversity of professions represented within ANSES and its laboratories, the approach to the subjects addressed is multi-disciplinary. Bacteriologists, virologists, chemists and parasitologists work together to develop knowledge on pathogens. Their interaction with immunologists, anatomo-pathologists, epidemiologists, ecotoxicologists, biokineticists, pharmacokineticists and toxicokineticists, as well as the support provided by modellers and statisticians, enables the Agency to develop studies that can be used immediately to respond to health issues. Understanding the overall system responsible for foodborne illnesses or outbreaks, including the resistance developed by pathogens to pharmaceutical treatments or plant protection products, is essential for providing relevant technical support to risk managers.