About us

The Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM) assesses and advises on mutagenic risks to humans.

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 in food, used in pesticides, pharmaceuticals and found in the environment. 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 mutagenic or genotoxic effects occurring after a given exposure) and gives recommendations for genotoxicity testing.

COM is an advisory body, was established in its present form in 1978 and has no regulatory status. However, it may provide advice to agencies that have a regulatory role.

COM’s secretariat is provided jointly between the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health and Social Care.


COM publishes its advice as statements and guidance statements.

COM publishes a joint annual report with the Committee on Toxicity (COT) and the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC): see annual reports.

Older publications are available on the UK Government Web Archive.


Calendar of meetings

Papers and minutes of previous meetings

Minutes of meetings held between 2013 and 2016 are available on the UK Government Web Archive.

Minutes for meetings before 2013 are on the archived IACOM website.

COM holds open meetings to increase the visibility and transparency of its work.

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