Dr Diane Benford
Dr Diane Benford is a toxicologist with particular expertise in risk assessment. Diane’s career started at the University of Surrey, where her roles included research into mechanisms of toxicity and use of in vitro techniques as alternatives to animals, and Course director for the MSc in Applied Toxicology. In 2000 she joined the Food Standards Agency, where she was head of the Risk Assessment Unit until retiring in 2017. The Unit had overall responsibility for advice associated with all types of chemicals in food and of microbial contamination, but much of Diane’s work focussed on chemical contaminants, food additives and natural toxicants. Her role also included acting as scientific secretary to the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) and part of the joint secretariat to its sister committees on Mutagenicity (COM) and Carcinogenicity (COC). In a personal capacity Diane was a member of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2005 to 2015, acting as chair of the panel for the final 3 year term of office. She is now a member and vice-chair of the EFSA Scientific Committee. She has also participated in meetings of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) since 2001. Diane was previously involved with BTS as Abstracts Editor and member of the Scientific Subcommittee, and then as Member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer. She became General Secretary in 2017.