ANSES's duties, established by Ministerial Order No. 2010-18 of 7 January 2010, include risk assessment in the fields of food, the environment and the workplace, for the purpose of assisting the authorities with their policies on health and safety. ANSES is a public organisation reporting to the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, the Environment, Labour and Consumer Affairs.
ANSES undertakes independent and pluralistic scientific expert assessments.
Its primary task is to ensure human health and safety with regard to the environment, the workplace and food.
It also contributes to:
- the health and welfare of animals;
- the protection of plant health;
- the evaluation of the nutritional and functional characteristics of food;
It also is responsible for veterinary medicinal products.
As defined in the French Public Health Code, ANSES's role is to conduct risk assessment, to provide the relevent authorities with all the information on these risks and the expert assessment and scientific and technical support necessary for the drafting of laws and regulations and the implementation of risk management measures.
It conducts monitoring, alert, vigilance and reference activities. It defines, implements and funds scientific and technical research programmes.
It proposes measures to the competent authorities for the protection of public health. When public health is threatened by a serious hazard, it provides the authorities with recommendations for the necessary health measures to be undertaken.
It participates in work undertaken by European and international bodies, and represents France at the request of the Government.
To fulfil its duties, the Agency:
- organizes collective expert assessment in its sphere of competence, with strong support from Expert Committees (CES);
- sets up a network of public organisations and coordinates their work in order to assess the health risks in its sphere of competence;
- contributes to information, training, dissemination of scientific and technical literature, and public debate, which it stimulates and encourages;
- helps shape national and EU-level research policies in its spheres of competence,
- creates scientific and technical databases in its spheres of competence or helps others create them;
- is responsible for a nutritional vigilance scheme, a phytopharmacovigilance scheme, and participates in the toxicovigilance scheme;
- sets up observatories (studies and databases) on the products and processes falling within its spheres of competence, as well as on their use or dissemination;
- engages in national and EU reference laboratory activities in its spheres of competence, and conducts research studies;
- provides the competent authorities with the expertise and the scientific and technical support needed for the assessment of biocidal and chemical substances and products,
- assesses the efficacy and risks of use of plant protection products, adjuvants, fertilizers and growing media, and grants marketing authorisations for these products.
ANSES may enter into agreements or participate in public interest groups with any French or foreign, public or private body, such as educational and research institutions that have duties that complement its own.
In particular, the Agency may establish contractual relations with the following institutions:
- Agence de l'environnement et de la maîtrise de l'énergie [French Environment and Energy Management Agency]
- Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé [French Health Products Safety Agency]
- Agence nationale pour l'amélioration des conditions de travail [French National Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions]
- Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières [French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research]
- Caisse centrale de la mutualité sociale agricole [Central Fund for the Agricultural Mutual Insurance Scheme]
- Centre international de recherche agronomique pour le développement [International Centre for Agricultural Research for Development]
- Centre national de la recherche scientifique [French National Centre for Scientific Research]
- Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment [French Scientific and Technical Centre for Construction]
- Centre national du machinisme agricole, du génie rural, des eaux et des forêts [National Centre for Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research]
- Commissariat à l'énergie atomique [Atomic Energy Commission]
- Ecole des hautes études en santé publique [Graduate School of Public Health]
- National Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort
- National Veterinary School of Toulouse
- National Veterinary, Food and Nutrition School, Nantes-Atlantique
- Institut d'enseignement supérieur et de recherche en alimentation, santé animale, sciences agronomiques et de l'environnement [Institute of higher education and research in food, animal health, agricultural sciences and the environment]
- Institut de recherche pour le développement [French Institute for Research for Development]
- Institut de veille sanitaire [French Institute for Public Health Surveillance]
- Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de l'environnement [Paris Institute Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences]
- Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer [French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea]
- Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, de l'aménagement et des réseaux [French Institute for transportation, planning and network science and technology]
- Institut national du cancer [National Cancer Institute]
- Institut national de la recherche agronomique [French National Institute for Agronomic Research]
- Institut national de recherche et de sécurité pour la prévention des accidents du travail et des maladies professionnelles [National Research and Safety Institute]
- Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale [National Institute of Health and Medical Research]
- Institut national de l'environnement industriel et des risques [National Institute for the Industrial Environment and Risks]
- Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire [French Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute]
- Institut Pasteur
- Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais [National Laboratory for Metrology and Testing]
- Office national de l'eau et des milieux aquatiques [French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments].
The relations between the Agency and these institutions and organizations are defined through binding agreements.