Science Advisory Committees

The FSA’s Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs) gather scientific information and evaluate its relevance. This is to make sure that the FSA’s advice is based on the best and most recent scientific evidence. SAC members are appointed from a wide range of disciplines and include specialist academics, experienced practitioners and consumer representatives. The independent advice and support that SAC’s and the Joint Expert Groups provide is crucial to protecting public health and the interests of consumers

Our Committees

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Science Council

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Science Council is an independent expert committee, comprising a Chair and seven members. It provides high-level, expert strategic insight, challenge and advice to the FSA's Chief Scientific Adviser, the Board and executive on the FSA's use of science to deliver its objectives. 

Learn more about Science Council

Advisory Committee on Social Science

The Advisory Committee for Social Science (ACSS) is an independent expert committee of the Food Standards Agency. It provides expert strategic advice to the FSA on its use of the social sciences including new and emerging methods, processes and systems to interrogate data, to deliver the FSA's objectives. Its purpose is to help FSA utilise these sciences and approaches to shape and deliver its strategic objectives and understand its impact.

Learn more about ACSS
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Committee on Toxicity

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health and other Government Departments and Agencies on matters concerning the toxicity of chemicals.


Joint Expert Groups


To support the FSA’s SACs, we have created three new Joint Expert Groups (JEGs) for regulated products, that work to the same principles as our SACs. The four SACs will continue to provide risk assessment advice for risk-based standards and controls, while the JEGs will tackle most work required for regulated products with SAC oversight.

Learn more about COT and the JEGs

Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food

Set up in 1990, the non-statutory Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) provides expert advice to Government on questions relating to microbiological issues and food. The Committee provides advice in response to requests from the FSA and also on matters that Committee members themselves identify as important. 

Learn more about ACMSF

Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) is a non-statutory, independent organisation, consisting of scientists and specialist experts, who actively advise the FSA on matters pertaining to novel foods, genetically modified foods, traditional foods and novel food processes.

Learn more about ACNFP

Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs

Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF) advises on the safety and use of animal feeds and feeding practices, with particular emphasis on protecting human health, and with reference to new technical developments.

Learn more about ACAF