Dr Andrew Pearson is the Manager of the Food Risk Assessment function of New Zealand Food Safety, a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries. Andrew’s area of expertise is in environmental chemistry and chemical risk assessment of foods. Andrew has worked in chemical risk assessment for MPI since 2006 then into the role of managing the devilry of risk assessment on all food safety hazards in 2019.
His technical work programme covers all contaminants entering the food supply, with a particular interest in those resulting from environmental contamination. Past projects have included natural and anthropogenic radionuclides, inorganic arsenic, perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) and ergot alkaloids. Andrew was the technical lead for the 2016 New Zealand Total Diet Study.
Andrew maintains active collaborations with New Zealand universities, including involvement on PhD projects at the University of Canterbury and Waikato University; as well as being on national advisory groups relating to use of biosolids and emerging contaminants. Additional to a focus on contaminants Andrew has led projects on element and isotopic fingerprinting for food provenance and authenticity, and the human health assessment of genetically modified foods.
Andrew leads the New Zealand delegation to the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF) and has seen success in developing the Guidelines on Rapid Risk Analysis Following Instances of Detection of Contaminants in Food where there is No Regulatory Level. He is presently chairing the working group to establish maximum levels for methylmercury in fish species.