UK – The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced the appointment of 24 independent experts to its Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs).

These experts will provide vital advice and guidance on matters related to science strategy, risk assessment, and evidence-based policy decision-making.

The FSA is committed to ensuring the safety and standards of the UK’s food system, and the SACs play a crucial role in maintaining public trust and confidence.

The FSA has appointed 12 full members, 10 Associate members, and 2 Chairpersons to the SACs. The experts come from diverse backgrounds and possess a range of expertise in areas such as novel foods, toxicity, animal feed, pathogens, pesticides, and social science.

This wide range of knowledge ensures comprehensive coverage of the issues at hand.

This year, the FSA introduced Associate membership to the SACs, providing an opportunity for early or mid-career researchers to contribute to the agency’s work.

Ten new experts have been appointed as Associate members. Each Associate member will be assigned a mentor from their respective SAC, ensuring guidance and support in their committee work.

Professor Susan Jebb, Chair of the FSA, highlighted the crucial role that the committees play in upholding public confidence in the safety of the food supply.

“Our new Associate membership will bring fresh expertise to the FSA and I am pleased that we will be able to contribute to the development of a cohort of researchers with an enhanced understanding of food policy.

“Building strong links between academia and public policy will help build UK capacity for research that has impact,” she said.

Professor Robin May, Chief Scientific Adviser at the FSA, emphasized the significance of the SACs in safeguarding the safety and standards of the complex food system.

The committees provide expert advice on food safety, standards, and emerging risks, while also conducting horizon scanning to identify potential future challenges. The FSA welcomes the new members and looks forward to their valuable contributions.

Notable appointments

The Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food will welcome experts such as Dr Roberto Vivancos, Professor Andrew Page, Dr Inaki Deza-Cruz, and Ms Adri Bester, among others.

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes will include Professor George Bassel, Dr Cathrina Edwards, and Associate Members Dr Kimon Andres Karatzas, Dr Antonio Pena-Fernandez, and Dr Christine Bosch. Dr Steven Enoch, Professor Peter Barlow, and Associate Members Ms Eimear O’Rourke, Dr Ben Amies-Cull, Dr Charlotte Mills, and Dr Tarek Abdelghany will join the Committee on Toxicity.

The Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs will welcome Chair Professor Nicholas Jonsson, Dr Olivia Champion, Professor Emily Burton, and Ms Hannah Kane, along with Associate Member Dr Oonagh Markey.

The Joint Expert Group on Additives, Enzymes, and Other Regulated Products will include Chair Dr Allain Bueno and Dr Claire Stephenson.

The recruitment process for the new members of the SACs was conducted through open competition. The appointees will serve initial terms of three years, while Associate Members will serve an initial term of one year, with the possibility of reappointment.

The Food Standards Agency’s appointment of new independent experts to its Scientific Advisory Committees reinforces its commitment to evidence-based decision-making and ensuring the safety of the UK’s food system.

The diverse expertise and collaborative efforts of the committees will continue to play a vital role in shaping food policy and protecting public health.

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