[Press and Public Relations] Appointment Of A New Chair Of Committee On Mutagenicity Of Chemicals In Food, Consumer Products And The Environment

November 2001

No 182

Professor Liam Donaldson, the Government's Chief Medical Officer, has agreed that Professor Peter Farmer, of the MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, will be the new Chair of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM). Professor Farmer has been appointed for a term of 3 years with effect from 1 November 2001; he is currently a member of the Committee on Mutagenicity.

The appointment has been agreed by Sir John Krebs Chairman of the Board of the Food Standards Agency. The appointments process has been carried out fully in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA).

Professor Jim Parry, the previous Chair of COM, term of office expired at the end of October 2001. He completed 10 years as Chairman of the Committee.

Notes to Editors

1. The Committee on Mutagenicity (COM) is a non-statutory independent expert advisory Committee which advise the CMO and the Chairman of the Board of Food Standards Agency, and through them, the government on a wide range of matters concerning chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment. Details of the Committee can be found on the Internet at: http//www.doh.gov.uk/com.htm.

2. The Committee was first established in 1978. Until April 2001 the Secretariat was provided by the Department of Health. Since that time this has been provided jointly by the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency.

3. Committee members are unpaid, but receive 89 Attendance Fee plus 28 Reading Fee per meeting. Chairman receives 111 and 28 respectively per meeting.

4. Professor Peter Farmer of the MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester was appointed a member of the COM in April 2000. Previously he had been a member of the sister Committee concerned with carcinogenicity (COC). He is Head of a Research Group investigating mechanisms of chemical mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, and on developing methods for biomonitoring exposure to genotoxic compounds. His work in this area is internationally recognised and he has more than two hundredscientific publications.

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