Update on the work of other advisory committees - for information


Last updated: 11 July 2022

Paper for Information. 


July 2022

Scientific Advisory Committees (SAC) Summary of recent activities

This document summarises the recent activity of the FSA’s Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs).  We highlight topics discussed at the most recent meeting and agenda items for the next meeting.

Science Council

Updated 5th July 2022

Last open meeting

23 June 2022

  • The Chair presented a summary of the Science Council’s activity over the last 6 months.
  • The CSA updated the Council on his recent activity and discussions (including the Annual Report for Food Standards, Civil Service headcount reduced, Precision Breeding Bill, alternative proteins).
  • An update on Working Group 6 on Food Safety and Net Zero Carbon (including final draft of the interim report).
  • Updates from Science Council members attending Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs).

Next open meeting

8 December 2022


Chair Professor Sandy Thomas

Contact for Science Council Secretariat

Link to Science Council Website

Advisory Committee for Social Science (ACSS)

Updated June 2022 

Last meeting

26th Jan 2022 (8th plenary, open session).  

Key agenda items 

  • FSA updated on key projects within the Analytics Unit, including new work programmes: Behavioural Trials and Wider Consumer interests.

Updates on working group activity

  • A proposal for an economics working group was discussed.  

  • Update from Prof. Sandy Thomas on working group outputs from the Science Council, and recruitment.  

  • Strategy team presented the emerging FSA strategy and the ACSS secretariat reported an initial assessment of how well ACSS expertise, and the FSA social science research plan, address key strategy topics.

Minutes and papers are available on the website.   

Working group highlights  

  • The Climate Change and Consumer Behaviour working group held a second stage workshop with stakeholders in February, as part of their work exploring the impact of changes in consumer behaviour motivated by climate change concerns. A full report is anticipated for publication in July.    

  • The Assurance working group are supporting the development of a ‘good science’ quality assurance toolkit to support the production of high-quality research.  

  • The Kitchen Life 2 working group continues to support the research project Kitchen Life 2.  

  • The Wider Consumer Interests working group continues to support this new ARI, informing the recent publication: UK Public’s Interests, Needs and Concerns Around Food.

  • Terms of reference for a new working group supporting the economics function in the FSA analytics unit, have been agreed.  

The next open meeting of the ACSS will be 20th July 2022. 

Chair: Professor Susan Michie  

Contact for ACSS Secretariat

Link to ACSS Website

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) 

Updated June 2022  

Last meeting

8th June 2022  

  • Tetradenia riparia (Iboza), a traditional food from a third country was reviewed for the first time. Several aspects of the food and its production were highlighted as having insufficient information to complete an assessment. These will be highlighted to risk managers for consideration on whether reasoned safety objections should be raised triggering further review. 

  • 2 dossiers from the same applicant; Lacto-N-fucopentaose I (LNFP-I) and 2'-fucosyllactose (2' FL) mixture (LNFP-I/2'-FL) and 3-Fucosyllactose were reviewed for the first time, with the first requiring a request for more info and the latter progressing to an opinion draft. 

  • The Mung Bean protein dossier returned for further assessment with a request for further information regarding outstanding issues on allergenicity being advised once again.  

  • Two previous protein applications; Barley Rice and Mung bean were reviewed once again. A request for opinions to be drafted for both was advised. The Committee subsequently evaluated the approach to opinions for Novel Foods seeing that these 2 opinions will the first of opinions to be drafted since the UK’s departure from the EU.  

  • The application for Calcidiol was evaluated for the third time with data not sufficient to progress the application. Further information requested. 

  • The annual report for 2021 was also discussed with conclusion that re-evaluation was needed in how data is presented so as to capture the full extent of work covered with the commencement of assessing full applications again. 

  • The Science Council reported on areas identified that would be relevant to the ACNFP and their future assessment work on Food Safety and Net Zero Carbon. 

  • Under AOB, an agreement was sought to formally appoint the Chair for the GM/GE sub-group. Dr Andy Greenfield who was put forward by the Secretariat and members of the ACNFP asked for comments or objections; none were raised, and he was subsequently welcomed as the Chair of the GM/GE subgroup.  

Next meeting

7th September 2022 

Chair: Dr Camilla Alexander-White 

Contact for ACNFP Secretariat

Link to ACNFP Website

Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) 

Updated 8 June 2022 

The Committee’s last meeting was on 09 February 2022. The issues they considered include: 

  • Pathogen Surveillance in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (PATH-SAFE): The committee received a presentation and discussed this project commissioned to track foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistant microbes in all four nations of the UK. 

  • Food Standards Agency’s Kitchen Life 2 Project. The committee was updated on the FSA’s ongoing study on food safety behaviour in kitchens.  

  • 100th Meeting of the ACMSF – Reflections. Members reflected on the work of the committee over the years and had a forward look discussion on future work areas. 

  • UK Food Security Report 2021 (published in December 2021). The committee discussed this report focussing on chapter related to foodborne disease and incidents.  

  • FSA surveys on frozen breaded/battered chicken products. The committee was updated on the survey of Salmonella, E. coli and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on frozen part-cooked breaded or battered products at retail sale in the UK and social science survey on consumer handling of frozen breaded products. This item was considered in closed session. 

Subgroup updates

The subgroups on toxin-producing Clostridia in food, incidents and antimicrobial resistance provided updates on their activities (see draft meeting minutes below).  

Draft minutes of the February 2022 meeting is available on the committee’s website

The committee has recently setup a subgroup on animal feed. Group was established to review risk assessments produced by Animal and Plant Health Agency on the risk of introducing Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) into UK livestock from proposed changes to animal feed regulations. This ACMSF subgroup will be disbanded when the Advisory Committee of Animal Feedingstuffs is reactivated.  

Information papers sent to members include:

Next meeting

23rd June 2022 (this will be a horizon scanning workshop).

Chair: Professor Bill Keevil 

Contact for ACMSF Secretariat

Link to ACMSF Website

Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding stuffs (ACAF) 

Updated N/A

Last meeting

27th June 2019 

Chair: N/A 

Contact for ACAF Secretariat    

Link to ACAF Website 

Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) 

Updated May 2022 

Last meeting

10th May 2022

Topics discussed included

At their May meeting the Committee discussed items including the potential risk from exposure to microplastics  by the inhalation route, potential approaches to mixture risk assessment for future UK REACH assessments and a paper introducing a proposed update to the COT statement on the cabin air environment. They also heard a presentation on the regulation of food contact materials. 

The Committee continued work on draft statements considering the potential effects of vitamin D exposure levels in formula fed infants and children and lead in the maternal diet. 

Next meeting

12th July 2022 

Chair: Professor Alan Boobis 

Contact for COT Secretariat 

Link to COT Website

Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment  (COC)  

Updated April 2022 

Last meeting

2 March 2022 

Topics on the agenda

  • Hydroxyanthracene derivatives in supplements 

  • Horizon scanning 

  • Annual report 

  • Update to guidance statements including biomarkers, interpretation of cancer risk characterisation and alternative approaches 

Next meeting

21 July 2022 

Further meetings

17 November 2022 

Chair: Professor David Harrison  

Contact for COC Secretariat

Link to COC Website

The Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM) 

Updated in April  2022

Last meeting

1 March 2022 

Topics discussed

  •  Review of EFSA opinion on titanium dioxide 

  • Hydroxyanthracene derivatives in supplements  

  • Horizon scanning 

  • BPA 

  • Smoke flavourings 

  • Draft COC guidance statement “The Use of Biomarkers in Carcinogenic Risk Assessment 

  • Draft COC, COM and COT document “How do the Committees evaluate the relevance and reliability of data when assessing a chemical of concern?” 

Next meeting

9 June 2022 

Further meetings

13 October 2022


Chair: Prof Gareth Jenkins 

Contact for COM Secretariat

Link to COM Website


Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) 

Updated: March 2022 

Last meeting

10th November 

Topics discussed included

  • Feeding children aged 1-5 

  • Nutrition and COVID 

Next meeting

Friday 17th June 2022

Further meetings 

Friday 11th Nov 2022 


Chair: Professor Ian Young 

Contact for SACN Secretariat 

Link to SACN Website