Role and tasks
On its founding, ANSES set up a Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest, in order to guarantee the independence of its scientific expert appraisals. In accordance with the French Public Health Code, the Committee reaches decisions on compliance with the ethical principles applicable to the Agency, its staff and outside experts participating occasionally.
It carries out its tasks in complete independence and can intervene in all ANSES's areas of activity.
The Committee meets at least six times a year to examine the requests submitted to it, and whenever necessary if its opinion is required, particularly for responding to any formal request classified as a health or environmental emergency.
Once again elected Chair of ANSES's Ethics Committee, I am keen to help shed greater light on the issues at stake in the formal requests we receive, in order to clarify the problems and promote pluralism in our deliberations. There are significant uncertainties and risks in health and environmental safety. The challenge with ethical standards is to guarantee the rules of independence, transparency and plurality of experts so that, even in the absence of certainty, they can produce credible opinions that help in decision-making and provide insights on the need for additional knowledge in order to progress.
The Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest has between five and eight members, appointed by ministerial order for five years. The Committee was renewed on 16 April 2021. It currently comprises eight people from outside the Agency and is chaired by Gabrielle Bouleau.
The members of ANSES's Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest are:
- Ms Marie-Caroline Beer,
- Ms Gabrielle Bouleau, Chair
- Ms Isabelle Doussan,
- Ms Sophie Gerber,
- Professor Didier Houssin,
- Mr Jean-Claude Piffaretti,
- Dr Bertrand Xerri.
The committee members' public declarations of interests (PDIs) are available on the Ministry of Health's PDI website.
In response to the questions it is asked, the Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest issues opinions and recommendations, which are communicated to the person or body behind the request, as well as to the Agency's Board of Administrators and Director General. The Director General then informs the supervisory ministers and decides on any decisions to be taken. All the Committee's Opinions are published on the ANSES website.