Reappointment of Chairman and seven existing members to ACAF

Last updated:
8 August 2018
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FSA Chair Heather Hancock announces re-appointments to Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs.

FSA Chair Heather Hancock has announced the re-appointment of the Chairman and six existing members to the independent Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs.  These are:

Dr Ian Brown, Professor Ian Givens, Professor Wendy Harwood, Mr Peter Francis, Ms Ann Davison, Dr Tim Riley, and Professor Stephen Forsythe have been reappointed.

The re-appointments have been made in consultation with Food Standards Scotland and with Ministers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

In 2015, a triennial review of scientific advisory committees for which the FSA is lead sponsor concluded that the functions of Advisory Committee on Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP) and ACAF should merge.  However, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the FSA is looking again at how future needs for scientific advice in these areas might be delivered.  The FSA has therefore decided to pause further implementation of the Triennial review recommendations until the picture on future needs is clearer.  These seven re-appointments are being made to 31 December 2019.

Heather Hancock said:

'The Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs is one of the independent committees which plays a very important role in providing the FSA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Food Standards Scotland and devolved administrations with expert advice.  The Committee is extremely fortunate to have members with the enthusiasm and experience of the reappointed members, I wish them every success in their work'.


Further details of appointments

None of the following members have carried out any significant political activity in the past five years.



Dr. Ian Brown (Chairman) is a medically qualified registered specialist in occupational medicine and toxicology. He is also a graduate in agricultural biochemistry and nutrition and has a wide range of knowledge and experience within occupational health, toxicology, agriculture and food safety.

Dr. Brown was formally Director and Head of Department of the Occupational Health Service at the University of Oxford and is now a Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Physician in Occupational Medicine at the Oxford University Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Public Health England. He was formally Chairman of the Pesticide Residues Committee, a member of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances of the Health and Safety Commission and a member of the Food Standards Agency's General Advisory Committee on Science.

Dr. Brown was recently appointed to undertake a regulatory responsibility for NHS England as a Responsible Officer for an MOD related designated body.



Professor Ian Givens (animal nutrition) is a nutritional scientist and Professor of Food Chain Nutrition and Director of the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health at the University of Reading. He specialises on the impact of animal-derived foods on long term health and disease..  He is also currently Deputy Chairman of ACAF.


Ann Davison (consumer) is an expert in customer insight, consumer engagement and clear communication. She began her career at Which? and has worked in consumer affairs for most of her career, running consumer organisations and networks such as Foodaware: the Consumers’ Food Group. She won the UK Woman of Europe 2000 Award.

Ann has served as a consumer representative on a number of government committees – Defra’s Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, the Adult Learning Committee of the Learning and Skills Council and currently Defra’s Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food -she chairs the Communications Subcommittee. For nearly six years, Ann was Defra’s consumer adviser and ran its Consumer Representatives Group.

Ann co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation and chaired its Certification Committee for eleven years. She is also a member of the National Consumers Federation and the National Council of Women.


Professor Stephen Forsythe (microbiology) is an independent food safety advisor. His main research area is primarily on foodborne infections, for which he has over 120 peer reviewed publications. He has been an invited participant and speaker at three FAO/WHO risk assessments on the microbiological safety of powdered infant formula. Professor Forsythe has also been a member of the European Food Standards Authority: Additives and Food Contacts Materials Panel, and an ad hoc member on the Qualified Presumption of Safety and BIOHAZ Panels.


Peter Francis (farmer) is a mixed arable and livestock farmer and a former dairy producer based in West Wales. He has held many positions within the National Farmers Union, including the county Chairman, dairy committee delegate, rural affairs delegate and is currently the Carmarthenshire delegate on the England and Wales Council. Mr Francis is the Welsh representative on the Legal Assistance Board for the National Farmers Union.


Professor Wendy Harwood (novel biotechnology) has over 25 years’ experience in crop biotechnology. She has a first class degree in Biology and a PhD in plant transformation. Professor Harwood is currently responsible for the Crop Transformation Group at the John Innes Centre, Norwich.

Her group focuses on the development of improved genetic modification and gene editing technologies for cereal and Brassica species as well as the development of crops with improved drought tolerance. She is also responsible for the Biotechnology Resources for Arable Crop Transformation (BRACT) platform that provides genome engineering resources to research groups world-wide.

Professor Harwood is an Honorary Reader at the University of East Anglia, contributing to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching as well as a visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She is active in public engagement activities, a member of the European Farmer Scientist Network and EU focus groups considering New Plant Breeding Technologies.


Dr Timothy Riley (lay person) is a livestock farmer and holds a portfolio of company directorships. He is a  Non-Executive Director of a health testing company and Executive Chair to Wellstate HTA Limited, a health policy and healthcare advisory company. He has previously held Chairman and NED roles in a range of companies and worked with investment and capital businesses.

Tim has a first class honours degree in Applied Biology and a PhD from Kings' College Cambridge. Following research fellowships in molecular biology at Cambridge and London he moved to the Medical Research Council to administer HIV/AIDS research funding.

Dr Riley joined the Department of Health in 1991 and became a Senior Civil Servant in 1994. Dr Riley held a number of high-level roles including the Head of NHS Public Health Policy and Head of Health Outcomes and Effectiveness. He led the development and establishment of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in 1999. In 2000, Dr Riley moved to the NHS as a Health Authority Executive Director, before being appointed as Chief Executive to a Primary Care Trust. He led three NHS Trusts as Chief Executive over an 11 year period before retiring from the NHS in 2011.

Dr. Riley has been a Board member of the National Institute for Health Research, Health Services Research Board and a Member of the NHS Futures Forum, which was launched by the Prime Minister.

Dr Riley has been owned and managed a commercial and pedigree livestock farm  for over 20 years. He is a Society Judge for the Lleyn Sheep Society and is a Board Director for the Beef Shorthorn Society.'

'ACAF is a UK-wide advisory committee made up of independent experts from wide-ranging backgrounds including consumer affairs, farming, science and the feed industry. Members are appointed for their individual expertise and experience and are not representative of any organisation. Its members are not salaried but are entitled to claim a preparation fee of £50 and an attendance fee of £110.  Details of current membership can be found on ACAF’s website:


ACAF’s terms of reference are:

'To advise the Food Standards Agency, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministers in the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly on the safety and use of animal feeds and feeding practices, with particular emphasis on protecting human health and with reference to new technical developments. In carrying out its functions, the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs will liaise with other relevant advisory committees as appropriate.'