Update on the work of other Scientific Advisory Committees- October 2022

Last updated: 24 October 2022

Paper for Information. 



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: 11 August 2022.
Last open meeting: 23 June 2022.

  • The Chair presented a summary of her activity over the last 6 months.
  • The CSA updated the Council on his recent activity and discussions (publication of the first FSA annual review of food standards “Our Food”, modelling FSA staff headcount reduction for Cabinet Office, the Precision Breeding Bill and alternative proteins).
  • An update on progress of Working Group 6 on Food Safety and Net Zero Carbon (including the interim report and an HMG workshop).
  • Updates from Science Council members attending Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs) and a brief on the tailored SAC review for Cabinet Office.

Next open meeting: 8 December 2022.

Chair Professor Sandy Thomas

Contact for Science Council Secretariat

Link to Science Council Website

Updated: October 2022.

Last meeting: 20th July 2022 (9th plenary, open session).

Key agenda items 

  • Julie Hill has started her role as Chair of the ACSS.
  • Three new members join the committee in October, Dr Charlotte Hardman, Professor Fiona Gillison and Dr Naomi Maynard.
  • ACSS secretariat and Julie Hill are attending the DEFRA SSEG (Social Science Expert Group) meeting in Cambridge in November.

Minutes and papers are not yet available on the website.

Working group highlights:

  • The Assurance working group are supporting the development of a ‘good science’ quality assurance toolkit to support the production of high-quality research. The group have also taken part in the first ‘Social Science Gateway Session’.

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

  • 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 until new members are in position.

  • The Wider Consumer Interests working group continues to support this new ARI and focus on Household Food Insecurity.

  • The Economics working group have agreed their Terms of References and reviewed the economic work plan for the next financial year.

The next open meeting of the ACSS will be 2nd February 2023.

  • Chair: Julie Hill
  • Secretariat:
  • ACSS Website 

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP)

Updated: September 2022.

Last meeting: 7th September 2022.

  • The Barley rice protein draft opinion returned for further review with a request for further information regarding outstanding issues on advised once again.
  • The Cetylated fatty acids draft opinion was also reviewed with a copy to be circulated to Members for further input.
  • A new application, Magnesium-L-threonate was reviewed for the first time with more information to be requested from applicant.
  • The first meeting of the ACNFP/COT subcommittee held on 27/07/2022 considered the toxicology datasets and concluded that a list of toxicological uncertainties must be tackled before opinions on the safety of CBD isolates can be made. The next meeting will be on 28/10/2022 discussing CBD isolates and Synthetics CBD products with the hope to provide an outlook on CBD validation going into the new year.
  • The work of the ACNFP PGT Subcommittee in its first two meetings (22/07/2022 and 08/08/2022) was summarised, along a Policy update on the progress of the Precision Breeding bill and the input requested from ACNFP to support FSA strategic goals in developing framework for Precision Bred Organisms.
  •  A workshop was held to review the latest discussion of the PGT Subcommittee on the development of framework for Precision Bred Organisms. Further work is being planned for the PGT Subcommittee.

Next meeting: 16th November 2022.

Chair: Dr Camilla Alexander-White

Contact for ACNFP Secretariat:
Link: to ACNFP Website:

Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF)

Updated: 19th August 2022.
The Committee’s last meeting was on the 23rd of June 2022, which was a horizon scanning workshop.
The questions the Committee considered were:
How are the following issues likely to affect the burden of foodborne disease in the UK over the next 10-20 years, in terms of existing and new hazards and likelihood of exposure, including AMR?

What are the key evidence gaps?

  • Challenges associated with disruption to food supply chains: Potential examples to consider: disease outbreaks, climate and environmental change, geopolitical issues including EU Exit, shortages of materials or resources.
  • Changes in methods of food production and new food technologies: Potential examples to consider: new food packaging, sustainable food practices, food reformulation trends. 
  • Changes in consumer behaviour and preferences: Potential examples to consider: food poverty and inequality, changes in food storage/preparation practices, changes in consumer diets influenced by health or sustainability issue.
  • Challenges associated with changes in the sizes of vulnerable groups: Potential examples to consider: ageing population.
  • Anything else?: What are other important issues or challenges that the Committee may face in the next 10-20 years?

An output paper has been produced, which will be discussed by the Committee at the next plenary meeting.
Next meeting: 20th October 2022.

Chair: Professor Bill Keevil
Contact: for ACMSF Secretariat
Link: to ACMSF Website

Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding stuffs (ACAF)

Updated: -
Last meeting: 27th June 2019.

Chair: -
Contact: for ACAF Secretariat:
Link: to ACAF Website:

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

Updated: October 2022.
Last meeting: 6th September 2022.
Topics discussed included: 

At their September meeting the Committee discussed a position paper on Chitosan used in food contact materials, the potential health effects of raspberry leaf in the maternal diet, and volatile organic compounds in aircraft cabin air in comparison with other modes of transport. They considered a statement on the safety of green tea catechins and a report on approaches to chronic dietary exposure assessment for chemicals in food. The Committee continued to work on a draft statement on the effects of lead on maternal health

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: 2nd March 2022
Topics on the agenda included:

  • Hydroxyanthracene derivatives in supplements.
  • Horizon scanning.
  • Annual report.
  • Update to guidance statements including biomarkers, interpretation of cancer risk characterisation and alternative approaches.

Next meeting: 21st July 2022.

Further meetings: 17th 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: April 2022.

Last meeting: 1st March 2022.
Topics discussed included:

  • 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: 9th June 2022.

Further meetings: 13th 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 2021.
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: SACN Secretariat

Link: to SACN Website