Michael Walker joined the Government Chemist Programme in August 2006 in a consulting capacity. In Northern Ireland he was resident Public Analyst (1986 to 2004) and Chief Executive, Forensic Science Northern Ireland (2004 to 2006).
Michael has held independent public appointments, including founder board member of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) (2000 to 2004), member of the Northern Ireland FSA Advisory Committee (2006 to 2012), subject matter expert to the Elliott Review, (2013 to 2014) and chair of the FSA Northern Ireland Strategic Committee on Food Surveillance (2012 to 2018). In 2017 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) for personal contributions to the Institute and the profession.
He is currently a member of the FSA(England)/DHSC Committee on Toxicity, COT. His research interests include food allergy and he is a member of the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Michael has published over 90 scientific articles mainly in the peer reviewed literature. He continues a small chemico-legal private practice in non-food areas.
Nominated officers have the overall responsibility for referee case supervision and prepare and sign Government Chemist certificates of analysis. Holding the statutory Mastership in Chemical Analysis qualification (MChemA), Michael acts as referee analyst science managing the majority of referee cases.
Head of the Office of the Government Chemist (OGC)
As head of OGC Michael looks after a team of senior scientists who in turn are responsible for programme management, delivery of referee casework, and the work of the Food and Consumer Products Testing unit which includes National Reference Laboratory (NRL) responsibilities and acts on a fee paying basis for private and public sector clients in areas that do not conflict with referee responsibilities.