Update on the work of other Scientific Advisory Committees- May 2024


Last updated: 16 May 2024

Paper for Information. 


May 2024

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: 7 February 2024

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.

18 May 2023 – Science Council published the final report of its Working Group 6 " Food Safety in the Net Zero Era”.

Next open meeting: 15 March 2024

Interim Chair: Professor John O’Brien



Advisory Committee for Social Science (ACSS)

Updated: March 2024

Last meeting: 27th February 2024 (12th plenary, open session). Minutes and papers are available on the website.  Key discussion items included: how best to maximise academic engagement with FSA research, horizon scanning, and research questions around consumer knowledge and practises related to ultra processed foods.  

Four working groups are currently active, supporting the development of a range of research activity, from the evidence behind the 2024/25 Spending Review business case, to a rapid evidence assessment outlining the

available evidence around consumer knowledge, beliefs s and practises around UPFs.

The next open meeting (13th Plenary) of the ACSS will be a hybrid meeting in July 2024.  

Chair: Julie Hill



Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

Updated: 2nd May 2024

Last meeting 164th: 17th April 2024

  • Successful meeting. 9 Committee Advice Documents (2x CBD, 2x GM, 3x oligosaccharides, Olive oil dry extract standardized in hydroxytyrosol and vit D2 mushroom powder) that have previously been discussed were reviewed all requiring little refinement and some requiring further information from the applicant. Once resolved, the CADS will be finalised via Chair’s action.
  • The Committee received an update on the work of the science teams and Secretariat to support the development of the policy for precision breed organisms and its implementation.  

Next meeting:  12th June 2024 (hybrid)

ACNFP Precision Breeding Workshop: 1st May 2024

  • Successful meeting. The Committee peer reviewed a FSA-owned draft PB technical guidance by correspondence prior to the meeting, and discussed remaining technical difficulties identified by the Secretariat. Technical advice will be used to inform revisions, the accuracy of which will be cleared by Chair’s action.

PGT Subcommittee

Updated: 19th March 2024 

Last PGT meeting: 8th March 2024

Highlight: Minutes of PGT12 to be amended; first reviewing of the new full GM application RP1868 and its draft Committee Advice Documents; requests for further information to be sent to applicant. Reviewing of the expertise needed to ensure statistical analysis part of the comparative analysis in GMO assessments is conducted properly; identification of the additional expertise not on PGT membership needed to assess GMOs with altered nutrition. Further discussion on GM applications was held.

Next meeting (PGT14): 15th May 2024

CBD Subgroup

Updated: 9th February 2024 

Last CBD meeting: 1st February 2024

Highlight: The Subgroup held its first in person meeting. Members were asked to approach the analytical data, group B assessment approaches and THC contaminant actions from November and feeding back their opinions during this meeting. Members were provided with a workshop and presentation from the chemical analysis team and COT Secretariat.

The lead secretariats have begun to develop and create a live database for the plotting of relevant CBD NOAELS and the appropriate endpoints, to assess the presence of current data gaps.

Next main meeting: 22nd May 2024 (CBD10 – Topic TBC).

Chair: Dr Camilla Alexander-White



Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)

Updated: 1st March 2024

Last meeting: 8th February 2024

The Committee’s plenary meeting was on the 8th of February 2024.

Matters arising (ACM/1419)

The Secretariat has produced an information paper summarising action taken on points arising from the minutes of previous meetings.

Committee update

  • AMR Working Group

PATH-SAFE update (ACM/1420)

Edward Haynes from Fera gave a PATH- SAFE update.

Kitchen Life 2 (ACM/1421)

Helen Heard and Thomas Mills from FSA gave a presentation of the Kitchen Life 2.

EFIG update (ACM/1422) Reserved business

Review of Campy project (Erica Kintz) Reserved business

IID3 update (Erica Kintz) Reserved business

RPS continuous improvements Reserved business

Information papers

ACM/1423 Items of literature

ACM/1424 Committee update

Next meeting: Wednesday 19 June & Thursday 20 June 2024

Chair: Professor Bill Keevil



Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding stuffs (ACAF)

Updated: 26 April 2024

Last meeting: 3 April 2024

3 April 2024 ACAF Meeting Summary

  • Minutes discussed from the last meeting, any changes that need to be made have been noted. (ACAF/90/01)
  • Dossier for assessment RP1421 HiPhoriusTM – the application was reviewed, and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • Dossier for assessment RP1280 Formaldehyde – the application was reviewed, and members requested additional clarification before discussing further.
  • Dossier for assessment RP1579 Pediococcus acidilactici CNCM I-4622 – the application was reviewed, and the applicant will be asked to provide further information.
  • RP1355 Bio-D – an update was provided in relation to this application.
  • Reviewed the RFI responses for RP1072, RP1137, RP1243, RP1282, RP1298, RP1341 and RP1512.
  • Draft opinions were evaluated for RP552, RP634, RP812, RP814, RP1015, RP1039/RP1040 and RP1111. The members provided feedback on the content and finalised previous opinions.

Next meeting: 11th June 2024

Chair: Professor Nicholas Jonsson



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

Updated: April 2024.

Last meeting: 26th March 2024.

Topics discussed included:

At their March meeting the Committee discussed the draft 2023 COT Annual Report which was postponed from the February meeting.

The committee’s assurance was sought from the FCM JEG on 1 opinion – the evaluation of the recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) decontamination process operated by LINPAC for use in the manufacture of articles in contact with food (Reserved) as well as commenting on the FCM JEG position statement on Ocean Bound Plastic.  The Committee also commented on 1 AEJEG opinion:  Application to modify the conditions of use of E401 (sodium alginate) for use as a surface treatment in entire fruits and vegetables (Reserved). They also considered additional information on bamboo biocomposites in food contact materials and discussed the second draft of the Joint COT/SACN working group report on plant-based drinks (Reserved).

The Committee also continued their work on a fifth draft interim position statement on bisphenol A and a fourth draft statement on the safety of Titanium Dioxide (E171) as a Food Additive. 

Next meeting: 21st May 2024.

Chair: Professor Alan Boobis



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

Updated: March 2024

Last meeting: 21st March 2024

Updating guidance statements

Output of horizon scanning workshops

Presentation on a revised strategy for the assessment of Chemical carcinogenicity

Next meeting: 

July 2024

Further meetings:

November 2024

Chair: Professor David Harrison 



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

Updated: March 2024

Last meeting:  

29th February 2024

Topics discussed included:  

  • Titanium dioxide
  • QSAR guidance
  • Lay summaries for COM website

Next meeting: 

June 2024

Further meetings:

October 2024

Chair: Prof Gareth Jenkins



Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)

Updated: March 2024

Last meeting:   

  • Meat and dairy analysis
  • working group and sub-group analysis including SACN framework update.
  • Nutrition and maternal health (reserved)
  • Joint COT/SACN working Group report on plant-based drinks (reserved)

Next meeting: 19th June 2024

Chair: Professor Ian Young