In May 2016, Roger Genet was appointed to lead ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health & Safety. During his term of office, he has focused on consolidating the Agency's activities, based on a high level of scientific expertise in support of public policymaking on health risk prevention.
ANSES has broadened its missions over the past three years, making it the only public health agency of its kind in Europe in terms of its sphere of competence and its cross-cutting approach to risks. It carries out research and reference missions, with nine laboratories sited in 16 regional locations close to their stakeholders; scientific expert appraisals involving more than 800 high-level academic experts; surveillance, monitoring and vigilance missions; and lastly scientific assessments of regulated products – veterinary drugs, plant protection products and biocides – for their marketing.
These are all missions that Roger Genet has endeavoured to carry out at European and international level based on ANSES's founding values of transparency and independence of scientific expert appraisal, and dialogue with all of society’s stakeholders.
Addressing French parliamentarians on the occasion of his reappointment, Roger Genet declared:
"In a national and European context, marked by our fellow citizens' concerns about the reliability of our institutions in dealing with health and safety issues, ANSES has a major role to play through the robustness and independence of its expertise. Continuing to develop and promote our processes in terms of transparency and ethics is essential for the Agency's credibility.
Explaining our proposals and presenting them to all those involved in debating and making decisions on our topics, in France and abroad, is one of one of my most important tasks.
Through its influence as a key player in scientific risk assessment, my objective is for ANSES to help heighten understanding of the major health and safety issues, in order to guarantee public and environmental health."
Biography of Roger Genet
Roger Genet holds a doctorate in enzymology and protein engineering, and an accreditation to conduct research in science from the University of Paris-Sud Orsay. He has devoted a large part of his career to scientific research within the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), which he joined in 1981, as well as teaching as a professor at the National Institute for Nuclear Sciences and Technology (INSTN). Roger Genet is the author of around thirty scientific publications and co-author of six patents for inventions.
In 2005, he joined the office of the Minister of Research as an advisor on life sciences, health and bioethics, before returning to the CEA in 2007, as Deputy Director of Life Sciences and Director of the Fontenay-aux-Roses research centre, where he was in charge of the site's conversion to health technologies.
In 2009, Roger Genet was appointed head of Cemagref which became, under his leadership, the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (Irstea) and where he was the organisation's first President. He also served as President of the Aquaref consortium, the national reference laboratory for monitoring aquatic environments, between 2009 and 2011. Together with the CEO of Ifremer, he drafted the "National Charter for Expertise" that was adopted by French research operators in 2011.
An advocate of the cooperative and integrative approach, he proposed the founding of the National Alliance for Environmental Research (AllEnvi), which brings together all the French stakeholders in research on water, food and territories, and was its first president from 2010 to 2012. He was also appointed Chairman of the Scientific Board of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) in 2012.
In March 2012, he was appointed Director General of Research and Innovation at the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research, before becoming Director General of ANSES in May 2016.
ANSES: a brief description
ANSES's primary mission is to guarantee the health and safety of populations with regard to all exposure risks – chemical, physical and biological – faced by people in their everyday lives. To this end, it provides independent public scientific expertise based on the best available scientific knowledge in support of public policymaking.
Over 1400 employees
9 laboratories and 16 sites spread throughout metropolitan France and the overseas territories
More than 800 independent scientific experts
65 national, 9 European and 25 international reference mandates
More than 250 opinions and reports issued in response to formal requests each year
5 vigilance schemes
4000 decisions issued each year in the field of regulated products
43 projects selected for funding under the 2018 calls for research projects, for a total of 7.4 million euros
700 international scientific publications per year, of which 376 were category A and A+ in 2018