Health risk assessment: ANSES renews ten of its expert groups

In order to assess health risks, ANSES relies on collective, independent expert appraisals, conducted by multidisciplinary groups of scientific experts that it coordinates.  It is now issuing a call for applications to renew ten of these expert groups in the following fields: human food and nutrition, animal health and welfare, and plant health. Nominations for these groups, open to scientists from a wide variety of disciplines, must be submitted online in French until 31 March 2022.

To fulfil its public expert appraisal tasks in its fields of competence, ANSES relies on collective, independent expert appraisals. For this purpose, the Agency calls on some 800 experts recognised both nationally and internationally for their skills in various scientific disciplines. These individuals participate in expert committees and scientific working groups. ANSES builds on their work to provide society with opinions and recommendations that are invaluable for public debate and decision-making on numerous health and safety issues.

We face numerous health challenges, both now and in the future. ANSES has a duty to provide a scientific appreciation of health risks by putting them into perspective and weighing them against each other, in order to offer guidance for public policy decisions, as well as to each citizen in his or her perception and daily behaviour. ANSES's experts work tirelessly to deliver reliable, high-quality assessments so as to provide accurate answers to the questions put to the Agency.

Eric Vial
Risk Assessment Director

Collective expert appraisals at ANSES involve:

  • experts from different disciplines debating and expressing their opinions on health issues;
  • consideration of all available scientific data;
  • hearing all points of view expressed by the experts, as part of a collective debate (a variety of different approaches) that is also adversarial (including a discussion of the evidence while also taking uncertainties into account);
  • draft conclusions and recommendations which ANSES uses to formulate an opinion.

Various areas of expertise

The experts are chosen for a four-year term based on their scientific competence and after examination of possible conflicts of interest. Multiple skills are sought: risk assessment, epidemiology, toxicology, biology, agronomy, human nutrition, biochemistry and physiology, food hygiene and microbiology, food technology, ecology, enzymology, veterinary medicine, genetics, infectiology, plant production, etc.

The 10 groups whose mandates have expired and for which the Agency is issuing a call for applications are the following:

Four expert groups in the area of human food

  • Expert Committee on "Assessment of biological risks in food" (BIORISK)
  • Expert Committee on "Assessment of physical-chemical risks in food" (ERCA)
  • Working Group on "Scientific assessment of guides to good hygiene practice and of application of HACCP principles" (GBPH)
  • Working Group on "Assessment of materials and processing aids in the areas of food and water" (MATAE)

Two expert groups in the area of nutrition

  • Expert Committee on "Nutrition" (NUT)
  • Working Group on "Nutrivigilance"

One cross-cutting expert group in the areas of nutrition and veterinary medicine

  • Working Group on "Plants"

Two expert groups in the area of animal nutrition, health and welfare

  • Expert Committee on "Animal nutrition" (ALAN)
  • Expert Committee on "Animal health and welfare" (SABA)

One expert group in the area of plant health

  • Expert Committee on "Biological risks for plant health" (SANTVEG)

Interested scientists are invited to submit their applications, in French, until 31 March 2022