what we know about the committee that will succeed the Scientific Council

After almost two and a half years of existence, the Scientific Council bowed out this Sunday, July 31. It will be replaced in August by the “committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks”, made up of 19 members, the vast majority of whom are scientists. This new committee will not be solely responsible for monitoring the coronavirus epidemic. Its creation appears in a decree published in the Official Journal of this Sunday, July 31, where the new health law is promulgated.

It will be a permanent committee, unlike its predecessor whose existence was linked to that of the state of emergency, which also ended this Sunday.

17 scientists, 2 patient and citizen representatives

We do not yet know the names of the 19 members of this new committee, which will be known in the coming days. It will in any case be carried out by a person designated by the Ministers of Health and Research, and accompanied by “16 scientific or health professional personalities”. To complete it “a patient representative and a citizen representative” will also be named. On franceinfo, the Minister of Health François Braun specified that it would be “a bit like a commando team of very high-level scientists”.

“In the event of a health crisis”the chairman of the committee may also “propose to call on additional personalities for their specific expertise”. The members of the committee will be appointed for two years, and their mandate will be renewable only once.

Responsible for monitoring “health risks”

Unlike the Scientific Council, created to monitor the evolution of the Covid-19 epidemic and to make recommendations to the government, this new committee will be responsible for general monitoring. He will watch “health risks related to infectious agents affecting humans and animals, environmental and food pollutants, and climate change”and should in particular “Issue recommendations when a projection reveals a health risk”as specified in the decree.

With “specialists in human, animal and environmental health”the committee will allow “a broader approach”noted the president of the Scientific Council Jean-François Delfraissy in an interview with Parisian. “We will have new tools, but we will be surprised by a new virus which will have other properties”, he added. Established with the Ministers of Health and Research, the committee may be seized by one of them or self-seize.

Its opinions will all be made public.

The committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks will be responsible, like the Scientific Council, for drafting recommendations on a health situation. This time, all of its opinions will be made public, unlike its predecessor where only certain opinions were accessible. In a final document published last week, the president of the Scientific Committee Jean-François Delfraissy and his team insisted on the fact that this new entity will have to maintain its independence vis-à-vis the executive.

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