Health risks are a part of our everyday lives; we can be exposed whether we are eating, working or simply breathing. Climate and technological changes and our societal choices have also led to the emergence of new threats to humans and the environment, both in France and abroad. Every day, ANSES works in the public interest to mobilise science and make the world a safer and healthier place for us all.
ANSES: a brief description
ANSES is the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety.
It is a public administrative body reporting to the Ministries of Health, the Environment, Agriculture, Labour and Consumer Affairs.
More than 1400 women and men, based at 16 sites throughout France, work together on a daily basis to make the world safer and healthier for us all.
As an agency working for the benefit of all society, ANSES is fully committed to advancing knowledge and preparing for tomorrow's challenges in health and the preservation of ecosystems.
Since 2010, it has been providing the scientific benchmarks needed to protect us from health risks related to food, the environment and the workplace, or from risks affecting the health of animals and plants. An agency of scientific expertise, it monitors and assesses these health risks, and devotes research activities to them. It helps advance scientific knowledge to support public decision-makers, including during health crises.
- Created in 2010
- Five supervisory ministries: Health, the Environment, Agriculture, Labour and Consumer Affairs
- Over 1400 employees
- Nine research and reference laboratories located throughout France
- Calls on more than 800 independent experts
- An annual budget of 140 million euros
Our areas of expertise
The broad scope of ANSES's activities gives it a cross-cutting view of health issues spanning across humans, other living organisms and ecosystems.
The principles guiding our work
A comprehensive approach to risks
ANSES's work has always been at the interface between human, animal and plant health. The vast scope of its activities has led the Agency to adopt a comprehensive view of health threats to living organisms and ecosystems. It has developed an interdisciplinary approach to assessing the risks of today and anticipating those of tomorrow.
ANSES calls on experts who are recognised in their respective fields, implements reference scientific methods and takes all the available scientific knowledge into account. This ongoing commitment to excellence enables it to provide benchmark scientific expertise. The Agency has established multiple partnerships with scientific assessment and research players in France, Europe and the rest of the world. It relies on its Scientific Board to guarantee the quality of its expert appraisals.
Transparency & independence
ANSES takes great care to ensure that all of its activities comply with principles of ethics and scientific integrity. Ever since it was created, the Agency has operated within an exacting ethical framework that it is constantly strengthening, and it is advised by a Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest. To assess health risks, it relies on multidisciplinary expert groups and transparent, collegial working methods that guarantee the independence and impartiality of the expert appraisals on which the Agency's opinions are based. All of its expert appraisal work is made publicly available.
Openness and dialogue with society
Health issues are a source of both interest and concern for society. Voluntary associations, trade unions, businesses, elected officials and government ministries are all represented on ANSES’s Board of Administrators and discuss its strategic orientations. To foster informed debate that benefits public action, the Agency systematically publishes its opinions and reports, and accounts for scientific uncertainties. ANSES has also set up dialogue committees on nanomaterials, radiofrequencies and plant protection products. These provide it with forums to address the questions of stakeholders and explain its expert appraisals and the methods used.
Our role is not to formulate injunctions, but to provide the means to understand, and to ensure access to as much reliable scientific knowledge as possible, to enable all of us – whether as individuals or collectively – to choose and act.
Since 2010, ANSES has been providing scientific data and recommendations that are invaluable for protecting populations on a daily basis and anticipating the risks of tomorrow.
Assessing health risks
ANSES is competent to address a wide range of risks to human health and the environment. To assess them, it calls on independent and robust scientific expertise. Its work is used for public decision-making in response to societal concerns and situations of uncertainty.
- Scientific expert appraisals carried out by groups of independent experts
- The most recent international scientific knowledge taken into account
- Robust and constantly developing assessment methods
Producing scientific knowledge
ANSES conducts and funds research in conjunction with the French and international scientific communities. It advances scientific knowledge and methods in order to better protect human, animal and plant health.
- Nine laboratories located throughout France
- Basic and applied research programmes
- More than 100 national, European and international reference mandates
- Two calls for research projects issued each year as part of the PNR EST
Alerting and staying vigilant
ANSES takes part in several national schemes that enable it to detect warning signals and take effective action against diseases and harmful exposure.
- Five national vigilance schemes: toxicovigilance, nutrivigilance, phytopharmacovigilance, veterinary pharmacovigilance and the National network for monitoring and prevention of occupational diseases (RNV3P)
- Platforms for epidemiological surveillance in animal health, plant health and food-chain safety
- Surveillance networks such as RESAPATH for antimicrobial resistance in animals
Examining marketing authorisation applications
ANSES issues and withdraws marketing authorisations for veterinary medicinal products, plant protection products, fertilisers and biocides. It does this after assessing their effectiveness and the risks they pose to human health and ecosystems.
ANSES's missions are set out in Order No. 2010-18 of 7 January 2010 (PDF) (in French).
Its Goals and Performance Contract (PDF) (in French) with the State defines its main strategic orientations and objectives.
To meet society's expectations in terms of health, biodiversity and ethics, ANSES is committed to producing reliable, independent, multidisciplinary scientific information. By providing input for public debates and decision-making, it actively contributes to the implementation of effective prevention or protection measures.
The Agency approaches known or emerging, immediate or long-term risks with ever more agility. Tapping into all the necessary methods, research and partnerships, it works to anticipate and rapidly detect the slightest alert, especially in crisis situations, and to reduce scientific uncertainties.
Outside of France, ANSES is recognised as a leading partner of European agencies and international health organisations, for which it strives to be a source of new ideas to make the global health and safety system ever more effective.
Promote the emergence of data and knowledge to build tomorrow's global health with our European and international counterparts.
ANSES in action: 2021 Annual Report
ANSES is publishing the annual reports for 2021.
The general report offers an insider’s view of our missions and explains how we work to provide scientific guidance to protect our health and that of animals and plants.
Three specific reports describe our activities in the areas of plant protection products, biocidal products, and the prevention of conflicts of interest.