Update on the work of other Scientific Advisory Committees- February 2023


Last updated: 14 February 2023

Paper for Information. 


February 2023

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: 9 January 2023.

Last open meeting: 8 December 2022.


  • The Chair presented a summary of her activity over the last 6 months.
  • The FSA led a discussion of the FSA Science Update 2022 (FSA 22/12/07) to the FSA Board.
  • The CSA updated the Council on his recent activity and discussions (including Government Office of Science’s review of SACs, changing FSA priorities this year, the Precision Breeding Bill).
  • Updates from Science Council members attending Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs) and a proposed streamlining of members’ engagement.

Next open meeting: 7 September 2023.

Chair: Professor Sandy Thomas



Updated: January 2023.

Last meeting: 20th July 2022.

(9th plenary, open session). Minutes and papers are available on the website.

Key update items:

  • Julie Hill has started her role as Chair of the ACSS.
  •  Three new members joined the committee in October, Dr Charlotte Hardman, Professor Fiona Gillison and Dr Naomi Maynard. In October, we held a successful induction event to welcome the new members to the committee.
  • ACSS secretariat and Julie Hill attending the DEFRA SSEG (Social Science Expert Group) meeting in Cambridge in November.
  • 10th plenary on February 2nd , attendees include Susan Jebb and members from DEFRAs SSEG secretariat.
  • Planning on the ACSS’s first networking event in the next financial year.

Working group highlights:

  • The Assurance working group have completed the ‘good science’ quality assurance toolkit to support the production of high-quality research within FSA social science. The group have also contributed to the Social Science Gateway Process, and as such review the research questions and methodology of all new social science projects.
  • The Kitchen Life 2 working group continues to support the innovative, cross-cutting and multi-disciplinary research project Kitchen Life 2. Fieldwork for the project has now been completed and several of the working group members attended the behavioural interventions workshop in November to generate hypotheses for behavioural intervention. Drafts of reports are expected in February 2023.
  • The Wider Consumer Interests working group continues to support this new ARI and focus on Household Food Insecurity and the Consumer Insight Tracker which the working group lead is conducting an in-depth review off.
  • The Economics working group have reviewed the economic work plan for the next financial year and are provided with monthly updates on key activity within the economics team.
  • The Climate Change and Consumer Behaviour working group had a recent publication around the impact of climate change on consumer food behaviours. The group has paused activity for the time being.

The next open meeting (10th Plenary) of the ACSS will be 2nd February 2023.

Chair: Julie Hill


Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

Updated: 23rd January 2023.

Last meeting: 16th January 2023.

Next meeting: 7th and 8th February 2023.

PGT Subcommittee

Updated: 02 February 2023.

Last PGT meeting: 1st February 2023.


Minutes of PGT5 agreed; first reviewing of the full GM application RP1232 (it will return to next PGT meeting with a draft positive opinion) and of the renewal GM application RP608 together with a draft positive opinion (the draft positive opinion will be reviewed at next ACNFP meeting) – planning and process for future GM assessments was discussed. The meeting also included one Precision Breeding workshops.

Next meeting: 15th March 2023.

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes and Committee on Toxicity on CBD and Hemp Derived Products

CBD Subgroup

Updated: 02 February 2023.

Last CBD meeting: 17h January 2023.


All minutes of precedent meetings have been reviewed and were finalised at the January meeting before discussing output to FPP; meeting included a discussion surrounding the EIHA Consortium dataset and how this package of data could potentially affect the reserved ADI of 10mg that was hypothesised in September.

A position paper skeleton regarding pure form >98% CBD products was brought to the committee; the Secretariat proposed that members comment on this skeleton further until the 24th of January before a final draft is completed. An urgent mini-90-minute meeting has been scheduled for w/c 13th February, due to the need to push the submission of the final position paper.

Next main meeting: 8th March 2023 (CBD5 – Current agenda TBC)

Chair: Dr Camilla Alexander-White

Contact for ACNFP Secretariat:
Link: to ACNFP Website

Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)

Updated: 27th October 2022.

Last meeting: 20th October 2022.

The Committee’s plenary meeting was on the 20th of October 2022.

Matters arising (ACM/1391)

The Secretariat produced an information paper that summarised action taken on points arise from the minutes of previous meetings.

Horizon Scanning Workshop Output (ACM/1392).

The Committee considered the finalised version of the output from the June 2022 horizon scanning workshop (paper to be published after meeting).

Quality Assurance of Microbiological Strategic Risk Assessments (ACM/1393)

Members discussed the process used to review the FSA’s microbiological food safety strategic risk assessments.

UK Food Safety Network.

Members were updated on the objectives of the network as well as research priorities that have been developed with food stakeholders, and the network's planned activities.

Dates of future meetings (ACM/1394)

Epidemiology of Foodborne Infections Group (ACM/1395) Reserved Business.

Members received update on the outcome of the EFIG meeting held on 7 June 2022.

Survey of microbiological quality of ready to eat food sold on social media (ACM/1396) Reserved Business.

Food Standard Scotland presented an overview of a proposed survey to provide a baseline understanding of the microbiological quality of Ready To Eat (RTE) food sold through social media.

Update/milestones IID3 (ACM/1397) Reserved Business.

Members received a presentation on the third study of infectious intestinal disease in the UK project (IID3) and updated on current progress.

Information papers:

ACM/1398: ACMSF Work plan.

ACM/1399: Update from other committees.

ACM/1400: Items of interest from the literature.

ACM/1401: Food and You Wave 4.

Next meeting: 9 February 2023.

Chair: Professor Bill Keevil

Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding stuffs (ACAF)

Updated: 18 January 2023.
Last meeting: 6 October 2022.

The plenary discussed:

  • Dimethylglycine sodium salt RP665.
  • Hostazym RP593.
  • Lactococcus lactis DSM 11037 RP686.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae RP694.

9 December 2022 ACAF Meeting Summary

  • Minutes discussed from the last meeting, any changes that need to be made have been noted. (ACAF/81/01).
  • Dossier for assessment RP709 ProAct 360 – the application was reviewed and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • Dossier for assessment RP746 Agal-Pro - the application was reviewed and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • Dossier for assessment RP748 Coxam - the application was reviewed and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • Dossier for assessment RP791 Lactobacillus buchneri - the application was reviewed, and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • Reviewed the RFI responses for RP1071, RP226, RP416, RP666 and RP686.
  • Draft opinions were evaluated for RP557, 600 – RP140, 141, 142, 284, RP641. The members provided feedback on the content and finalised previous opinions. All opinions on these are agreed by the committee so can go out.
  • The committee members workload and expertise were discussed, the number of meetings per year, including discussion on virtual meetings and in person meetings, and discussed areas where new members will be needed.
  • Members discussed how they can share information potentially of interest to other ACAF members. Was suggested to share it through the secretariat first.
  • Discussion on what can be done to make it easier for members to navigate through the applications.

Next meeting: 15 February 2023.

Chair: Professor Nicholas Jonsson


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

Updated: January 2022.
Last meeting: 14th December 2022.

Topics discussed included:
At their December meeting the Committee discussed carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the aircraft cabin air environment, considered a discussion paper on EFSA’s 2022 assessment of the genotoxicity of acrylamide and a paper summarising the health-based guidance values for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. They also considered how to take forward a review of Codex’s report on food allergen threshold levels.
The committee continued to work on the second draft statement on the potential risk to human health of turmeric and curcumin supplements and a second draft sub-statement on the potential risk(s) from exposure to microplastics: Inhalation route.

  • Next meeting: 7th February 2023.

Chair: Professor Alan Boobis

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

Updated: November 2022.
Last meeting:17 November 2022.

Meeting held as workshop - “Changing the paradigm: How should we assess cancer risk in the UK?”

Next meeting: 16 March 2023.
Further meetings: 20 July 2023, 16 November 2023.

Chair: Professor David Harrison

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

Updated: November 2022.

Last meeting: 13 October 2022.

Topics discussed included:

  • Review of EFSA opinion on titanium dioxide.
  • TMBPF-DGE can coating (reserved).
  • Horizon scanning.
  • Draft guidance statement “The Use of Biomarkers in. Genotoxicity Risk Assessment.
  •  Non expert summaries for COM website.

Next meeting: 23 February 2023.

Further meetings: 15 June 2023, 12 October 2023.

Chair: Prof Gareth Jenkins.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)

Updated: November 2022.

Last meeting: 11 November 2022.

Topics discussed included:

  • Feeding young children aged 1-5.
  • Vitamin D fortification update.
  • Updated SACN framework.

Next meeting: 16 March 2023.

Further meetings: 22 June and 23 November 2023.

Chair: Professor Ian Young.