Research and reference activities at ANSES
ANSES's core activity is the assessment of health risks to enable the public authorities to make informed decisions. This activity is based on independent and pluralistic scientific expert appraisals conducted by expert groups made up of external scientists. This key mission is supplemented with knowledge generated by the monitoring, research and reference activities which the Agency also conducts. In return, risk assessment also serves to guide monitoring initiatives and to identify new avenues for research.
To effectively carry out these reference and research missions, ANSES is supported by a network of 9 reference and research laboratories in 16 locations throughout France, in close proximity to the sectors involved and internationally recognised in several areas or fields of study.
These laboratories conduct their activities in three major areas: animal health and welfare, food safety (chemical and biological) and plant health. They are internationally recognised in their various fields of expertise that include epidemiology, microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, physicochemical contaminants and toxins.
Thanks to their activities in expertise, epidemiological surveillance, alert and scientific and technical assistance, they play an essential role in understanding hazards and gathering data from the network of accredited laboratories. The 600 scientists and technicians belonging to this laboratory network focus on identification of the major pathogens in animal and plant health, and on the development of methods for identifying biological, physical and chemical contaminants in food and in water.
These reference and research activities place ANSES at the core of these analysis networks. Thus, the Agency benefits from its direct links in the field, which are essential for its monitoring and alert missions, and which enable it to be highly responsive when pathogens or contaminants emerge or re-emerge in France.