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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

The ANSES laboratories celebrate science!

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News of 07/10/2013

During France’s National Science Festival from 9 to 13 October 2013, the general public, schools and students will be able to visit six of ANSES’s laboratories and discover or learn more about the day-to-day activities of the researchers who work for the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.


Ploufragan (Côtes d’Armor): “Find out everything about animal health and foods of animal origin!”

Come and visit us at the heart of the Ploufragan Zoopôle (science park) and learn everything about animal health and the safety of foods of animal origin: How old is a day-old chick? How many hams can you get off a pig? What is the world’s largest living animal? A quiz to teach you about our work, a game to help you learn where to store different types of food in the fridge, and a workshop about the life of microorganisms that the scientists at the ANSES Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory will be pleased to explain. Friday 11 October is reserved for schools, and the public will be welcome on 12 and 13 October.

The Ploufragan-Plouzané Laboratory specialises in the health of poultry, rabbits, pigs and farmed fish. It studies the agents responsible for diseases in these animals, their immune potential, and emerging diseases. The laboratory pays particular attention to the consequences of new methods of livestock husbandry or the impact of environmental pollutants on animals, among other themes.


Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine): “How to detect traces of veterinary drug residues in foods”

ANSES’s Fougères Laboratory will be joining forces with Rennes Métropole, which will be organising several events as part of the eighth edition of the Science Festival and also the Rennes Festival of Sciences which will take place from 6 to 20 October 2013. There will be a lecture in the Fougères Laboratory on Tuesday 8 October 2013 at 8pm on the subject: “How to detect traces of veterinary drug residues in foods.” There will also be two “open days” with talks and workshops presenting the methods used to study the toxicology of contaminants. Friday 18 October will be reserved for schools, while the general public will be welcome on Saturday 19 October.

The Fougères Laboratory contributes to food safety by studying veterinary drug residues and the toxicity of food contaminants. It also works in the field of veterinary medicine and food safety, in terms of the antimicrobial efficacy of antibiotics and disinfectants and the development of resistance to these products. It is the National Reference Laboratory for veterinary drug residues and resistance to antibiotics, and the European Union Reference Laboratory for residues of antibiotics and colouring agents.


Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais): “Eating fish: Why and how?”

The site where ANSES’s Laboratory for Food Safety monitors fishery products is joining forces with the GIS “Campus de la Mer” in a series of events entitled “Innovation along the Côte d’Opale” and will welcome visitors to its stand on 10 October 2013 and answer all their questions on food safety regarding fishery products. In the course of these events, there will be presentations on the laboratory’s activities and the benefits of eating fish. In addition, as a part of these Doctoriales de la Mer, two students attached to the laboratory will present their work on parasites and screening for markers for revealing spoilage in seafood products.

The Boulogne-sur-Mer site, which is a part of the Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety, has a microbiology unit and a physico-chemistry unit, with parasitology as one of its missions. It contributes to the quality and safety of fishery products by developing methods for the detection, characterisation and quantification of pathogens in these products.


The Maisons-Alfort Laboratories (Val-de-Marne): “What are FBIs?”

The ANSES Laboratory for Food Safety will be opening its doors to Year 12 students from the Delacroix High School in Maisons-Alfort on Thursday 10 October 2013. The programme will include a visit to the laboratory, together with a presentation of its work and missions. Scientists will use a real-life case to explain to students the notion of food-borne illnesses (FBIs) and domestic hygiene.

The Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety deals with cases of biological and chemical hazards that can affect food safety and quality. Within its field of competence, it carries out the Agency’s missions concerning reference, research, science watch, epidemiology and scientific and technical expert appraisals.


ANSES’s Laboratory for Animal Health will be opening its doors to students from the French National Veterinary School of Alfort (ENVA). There will be a visit to the laboratory on Friday 11 October 2013 in the course of which the students will be able to learn about the everyday work of the scientists. There will also be a guided visit of the campus on the same day.

ANSES’s Laboratory for Animal Health is located on the campus of the French National Veterinary School of Alfort of which it was originally a part. It was founded in 1901, and was the first laboratory in the world set up to combat infectious and contagious animal diseases. Today, it still enjoys an international reputation and continues to carry out crucial missions for France and Europe in animal and human health. It covers all the fields of infectious diseases in animal health. The Laboratory works essentially on three subjects: controlling major animal epidemics (foot and mouth disease, bluetongue, etc.); bacterial, viral and parasite-borne zoonoses; and emerging, multispecies infectious animal diseases, especially vector-borne diseases and opportunistic mycoses.


Dozulé (Calvados): “Become a horse health specialist!”

The Dozulé Laboratory for Equine Diseases will open its doors on Friday 11 October 2013 and will offer a guided tour to the general public, from the youngest to the most well-informed. Visitors will be able to find out more about its research in the areas of virology, bacteriology, parasitology, epidemiology and pathological anatomy, and to see how research scientists spend their days.

The activities of the Dozulé Laboratory for Equine Diseases are centred on controlling health risks related to infectious and parasitic equine diseases. The laboratory shares with the Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Animal Health the mandate of European Union Reference Laboratory for equine diseases.

As a member of the French epidemiological surveillance network, it monitors for the appearance and spread of major or emerging equine disorders and analyses their causes, especially through autopsies and field epidemiology investigations.


Angers (Maine et Loire): “How to detect what can’t be seen”

The ANSES Plant Health Laboratory will be welcoming middle and high school pupils to its Angers site to show them how it operates from day to day: they will learn “How to detect what can’t be seen” via the example of viruses and bacteria.

The Plant Health Laboratory employs about 80 people on six specialised sites, Angers, Montpellier, Nancy, Rennes, Saint-Pierre (Réunion) and Clermont-Ferrand, the last of which also serves as a quarantine unit for imported plants. The administrative headquarters are located in Angers, within a world-class plant science campus specialising in research, development and higher education. The Plant Health Laboratory’s work concerns cultivated land and forests, covering biological and auxiliary risks for plant health, including invasive plants and the identification of prohibited genetically modified organisms.


ANSES covers the fields of work, the environment, food, animal health and welfare, and plant health, with the principal goal of contributing to the protection of workers and consumers. To enable it to draw up recommendations for public health, the Agency conducts independent, scientific, multidisciplinary, collective and adversarial expert appraisals. It relies on a network of 11 reference and research laboratories at 18 different locations. They carry out missions of expert assessment and epidemiological surveillance, issue alerts and provide scientific and technical assistance. They play an essential role in understanding hazards and gathering data from networks of accredited laboratories.