Members of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment

Body: Department of Health and Social Care
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: No
Time Requirements: 3 meetings/days a year

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Role and Responsibilities of a Member

The COM is an important committee reporting to the Chief Medical Officer, and the Chair of the Food Standards Agency on all aspects of mutagenic risks to man from exposure to chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment. As a specialist in toxicology or related area with a particular expertise in cancer studies, members:

  • Contribute to discussions of the Committee working alongside recognised experts who assess other aspects of the detailed technical data on genotoxins under consideration (e.g. mode of action/mechanism studies, traditional and novel toxicity testing strategies, statistics).
  • Are expected to contribute to the Committee’s discussions and to the consideration of detailed statements and conclusions from the Committee.
  • May be asked to contribute to other discussions (such as in working groups) or to draft text within your specialism if the need arises.


Lay member of this committee will be expected to work effectively with scientific members of the committee to ensure the committee’s advice addresses the concerns of, and can be understood by, the UK population as a whole.


Person Specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

Lay members are expected to contribute to the discussions and to the consideration of statements and conclusions of the Committee. Where necessary lay members may be asked to input into non-expert summaries.

Essential Criteria

All applicants must also possess the expertise to provide independent scrutiny and credible advice on the issues that fall within the remit of the COM and must:

• Be able to provide specific advice independent of government or industry

• Be a good communicator with sound judgement

• Be able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to the work of the COM

• Have some experience of committee membership

• Have contributed to national or international fora whose work is within the remit of the COM

Expert member

In addition applicants for the expert member role must have:

A sound understanding of genotoxicology and be able to show a track record of achievement in one or more of the following areas of expertise:

  • Development of in vitro (non-animal) methods for the assessment of genotoxic risks from exposure to environmental chemicals.
  • Regulatory expertise – an understanding of the advances in genotoxicity tests and testing strategies used in regulatory settings.
  • Genetic toxicology: experience in the conduct and interpretation of in silico methods, and in vitro, and in vivo tests. An interest in molecular epidemiology would also be of value.
  • Carcinogenesis: able to demonstrate expertise in cancer risk assessment and in the mechanisms of carcinogenesis both genotoxic and non–genotoxic mechanisms.
  • Toxicokinetics and metabolism: expertise in interpretation of data on the disposition, metabolism and toxicokinetics of chemicals and low dose effects especially in relation to genotoxicity testing.
  • Computational toxicology and Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSARs): expertise in the application of computational toxicology and QSARs and their application to genotoxicity.
  • Epigenetics and trans-generational effects: expertise in epigenetics with relevance to genotoxicity endpoints.
  • Reproductive or developmental toxicology: expertise in developmental toxicology and adverse reproductive effects of mutagenic and genotoxic chemicals.



Additional Information

COM role and responsibilities

COM advises government on the mutagenicity of chemicals used in pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other products.

COM provides independent advice to government departments and agencies on the potential mutagenicity and genotoxicity of chemicals (whether they are likely to cause mutation in cells), from natural products to new synthetic chemicals used in pesticides or pharmaceuticals. It also advises on strategies and research for genotoxicity testing.

The committee also advises on important general hazards (the inherent property of the substance) or risk (the likelihood of mutagenetic or genotoxic effects occurring after a given exposure) and gives recommendations for genotoxicity testing.

COM is an advisory body and has no regulatory status. However, it may provide advice to agencies that have a regulatory role.


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