Marc Mortureux reappointed as head of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety
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News of 02/10/2013
Following his hearing at the French Senate and National Assembly, and upon proposal by the Agency's five supervising ministers, Marc Mortureux was reappointed today by French Presidential decree as Director General of ANSES. After three years in existence, ANSES is now a benchmark institution for health and safety both in France and internationally. For Marc Mortureux, "keeping one step ahead of emerging risks will be ANSES's top priority during this new mandate".
Appointed in August 2009 as Director General of AFSSA, Marc Mortureux was in charge of implementing that agency's merger with AFSSET in order to create ANSES. That objective, which was achieved a year later, aimed to reinforce the assessment and prevention of public health risks through the establishment of a health and safety agency with a cross-cutting field of competencies and an integrated approach to risks.
A groundbreaking reference for health and safety, attentive to the expectations of society
The work that has been conducted on sensitive and complex issues since the Agency's creation in 2010 (diets, E.Colifood poisoning, LED lighting, bisphenol A, worker exposure to pesticides, nanomaterials, antimicrobial resistance, etc.) is testimony to the added value provided by the Agency's original scope of expertise. This added value is closely linked to its novel approach to risk which takes into account the reality of exposure by various population types (workers, consumers, citizens) in their everyday life in a cross-cutting and all-encompassing way.Its work and its innovative methods have enabled ANSES to become a scientific benchmark in the French and international landscape with regard to health and safety.
ANSES's governance model makes it able to more effectively reconcile independence in scientific expert assessment on the one hand with transparency, openness and respect for the roles of the various stakeholders involved, in close cooperation with civil society. ANSES's operational model makes it an agency that is especially attentive to the expectations and concerns of society, from weak signals to emerging risks. It makes room for each interested party, including whistle blowers, whose role was recently recognised by law.
In three years, the Agency has transformed its expert assessment procedures and has acquired a reinforced and revised ethical framework which includes a code of ethical standards and prevention of conflicts of interest, all of which enables it to more effectively guarantee the independence of our expert assessments.
"Keeping one step ahead of emerging risks"
Following a period of settling in and consolidation, and with the reappointment of Mark Mortureux as head of ANSES, the Agency now initiates a new phase in its existence, one which is fully geared to action.
Marc Mortureux explains his strategic vision: "Keeping one step ahead of the major emerging risks will be ANSES's top priority during this new mandate. More specifically, keeping one step ahead means being able to anticipate risks even more effectively and constantly improving our ability to protect citizens. So keeping one step ahead will be the governing principle that will guide all of the Agency's initiatives in the coming years, and it will be our collective goal on a daily basis. "
This ambition is based on several initiatives that ANSES has already begun to implement:
- Creation of a future planning exercise in order to identify the health and safety challenges of tomorrow and in doing so to more effectively guide the research work that it conducts and supports;
- Creation of a register of warning signals with governance open to the interested parties;
- Strengthening support of health and safety surveillance activities: data collection schemes for occupational diseases with the RNV3P, monitoring systems for veterinary medicines (pharmacovigilance), novel foods and food supplements (nutrivigilance), the epidemiological surveillance platform for animal health, monitoring of the health impacts of the plant protection products and biocides on the market, etc.;
- Consolidation of the links between surveillance, reference and research activities;
- Conducting methodological work in order to respond to the new challenges posed by the assessment of chronic risks (integrated exposures, cumulative effects, low doses, etc.);
- Integrating new technologies to reinforce the effectiveness of detection and investigation methods for chemical contaminants and pathogens.
Biography of Marc Mortureux
Marc Mortureux, alumnus of the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and an executive engineer graduate of the prestigious Ecole de Mines, has worked both in the public and private sectors. His career has included the inspection of installations subject to environmental protection regulations, regional administration, the Compagnie générale de géophysique and three years as Deputy Director General of the Institut Pasteur from 2005 to 2008.
In 2008-2009 he was director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Industry and Consumer Affairs, prior to his appointment as Director General of AFSSA, where he was in charge of laying the foundations for that agency's merger with AFSSET in order to create ANSES, which he has directed since its establishment in 2010.
Marc Mortureux had the opportunity during his professional career of working in high-level scientific contexts on subjects directly related to the field of public health. One example was his assignment as a manager of Airparif (the organisation responsible for monitoring atmospheric pollution in the Ile de France region), another was his appointment as head of the Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d’Essais, a public establishment which is a benchmark in terms of safety, health and sustainable development. It was as director of this laboratory that Marc Mortureux was elected president of Eurolab, the European Federation of National Associations of Measurement, Testing and Analytical Laboratories, in 2005. He has also been a member of the French Académie des Technologies since 2012.
ANSES is active in the fields of environmental and occupational health, food safety, animal health and well-being, and plant safety. Its main priority is to help protect the health and safety of the population, both in their working and consumer activities.
In order to provide recommendations for public health measures, ANSES mobilises multidisciplinary, collective scientific expertise while encouraging independent debate. It is supported in this by a network of 11 reference and research laboratories in 18 different locations throughout France. Their missions include expert assessment, epidemiological surveillance, warning notification and scientific and technical advice. By collecting the data provided by the network of accredited laboratories, they play an essential role in the qualification of hazards.