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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

ANSES, National Focal Point for EFSA

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is a European Union (EU) organisation responsible for assessing health risks related to food for human and animal consumption, nutrition, animal health and welfare, and plant health and protection. EFSA issues scientific opinions and communicates on existing and emerging risks.


Like in France, the European system of food safety is set up in such a way that risk assessment is separate from risk management. As part of its risk assessment mission, EFSA issues scientific opinions and recommendations to the European Commission, the European Parliament and to the Member States of the EU, which then make decisions concerning risk management. 

The EFSA mission covers the safety of food intended for human and animal consumption, nutrition, animal health and welfare, and plant health and protection. In view of its areas of interest, ANSES is a key partner for EFSA and for the other French organisations that are called on to work with the European authority.

To foster cooperation, EFSA interacts with the Member States via: 

  • An Advisory Forum
  • A network of national focal points
  • Scientific networks supporting the EFSA units
  • A list of competent organisations (under Article 36 of its founding regulation) which are eligible to assist EFSA in its tasks


The EFSA Advisory Forum

The EFSA Advisory Forum brings together the Authority and the national food safety agencies in the 28 Member States of the EU, and those in Iceland and Norway. ANSES is a full member of the Forum. 

The members of the Forum represent the national organisations responsible for risk assessment in the Member States of the EU, and in Iceland and Norway. The Forum also comprises observers from Switzerland and the European Commission and is chaired by the Executive Director of EFSA.

The members of the Forum are consulted on scientific issues, the EFSA work programme, and its priorities.

Advisory Forum “Declaration of Intent” 

National focal points Network

EFSA has a national focal point in each Member State, most often at the national risk assessment agency. In France, ANSES is the focal point for EFSA. The main role of the focal point is to liaise with EFSA for implementation of its scientific cooperation policies regarding assessment of risks related to food. One of the main missions of the focal point is to ensure sharing and dissemination of scientific information concerning food safety risk assessments.  

Networks of scientific organisations supporting EFSA units

EFSA coordinates several networks of nationally appointed EU Member State organisations with expertise in specific scientific fields (e.g. emerging risks, pesticide residue monitoring). Representatives of the European Commission and of other organisations, including from outside the EU, with specific expertise may be invited to join an EFSA network.

The networks facilitate scientific cooperation by coordinating activities, exchanging information, developing and implementing joint projects, and exchanging expertise and best practices.

Find information on specific networks:  

Competent organisations capable of assisting EFSA in its tasks under Article 36 of its Founding Regulation

 Over 300 universities, institutes, governmental, public and other scientific bodies currently form a network of Member State organisations active in fields within EFSA’s mission.  Article 36 of EFSA’s founding regulation describes networking of scientific organisations in Member States. That is why they are known as “Article 36 organisations”.

Networking promotes ties between these organisations through coordination of joint activities, exchange of information, development and implementation of joint scientific projects. It further boosts the sharing of expertise and best practices in these scientific areas.

They carry out various tasks on EFSA’s behalf, in particular preparatory work for scientific opinions, scientific and technical assistance, collection of data, and identification of emerging risks. Some of these tasks may be eligible for financial support (specifically grants).

17 competent organisations have been appointed for France:

ANSES, as a focal point, maintains a dynamic network by regularly sending information concerning EFSA (e.g. information on calls and consultations, efsa’s organisation...), organises an annual meeting of this network and participates in the updating of this list.