Peter Cressey is a Science Leader in the Intelligence for Action Group and carries out risk assessments for the presence of hazards in food, consumer products and the environment. Hazards can be toxic chemicals or disease-causing microbes.
Peter works with a range of government departments, local authorities and companies. Risk assessment helps government departments decide if a hazard is sufficiently controlled or if they need to take action to help control it. For example, this may include taking measurements of a hazard in foods and using them to estimate the likelihood of people becoming ill – if the likelihood is low then the hazard is probably already well managed. Risk assessment can also be part of the resource consent process or it can be used by the food industry to assure their clients that a hazard in food is not a substantial risk.
Peter has been working for ESR for about 27 years. His work is wide ranging, spanning from researching animal feed practices to assessing the chemicals in personal care products to evaluating risks of pesticides leaching into water.
One of the highlights of his time at ESR is working on expert committees. He currently is serving a three-year term on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) committee. Since 2014, Peter has been a member of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food (JECFA) Additives which evaluates chemical hazards in food at an international level. He enjoys being able to spend time addressing issues along with national and international experts.