Professor Gareth Jenkins is new head of Government advisory body

A leading Swansea University scientist has been appointed to head a key Government advisory committee by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Gareth Jenkins, professor of molecular carcinogenesis as well as Director of Research at the University’s Medical School, has just taken up the role as Chair of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM).

The body reports to Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency and advises the UK Government on safety aspects and human health concerns.

Its role providing information on important general principles or new scientific discoveries in connection with mutagenic and genotoxic hazards and risk is set to become even more important in future as the committee’s guidance will be replacing advice previously given by equivalent European organisations.

Professor Jenkins said: “I am really honoured to take up this role as Chair of COM, I previously sat as a member of COM from 2009 to 2019 and so understand the importance of the work done.

“I am determined to follow the excellent standards set by previous Chairs and am excited by the challenges posed by the changing regulatory landscape following EU withdrawal.”

Swansea University’s Dean of Medicine Professor Keith Lloyd said: “This appointment reflects the level of expertise Gareth has in this field, and also just how highly he is regarded, not just in Wales but in the rest of the UK.

“We are delighted that his input will be instrumental in helping shape future policies and understanding in such an important area.”


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