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Food Safety

Regulatory Committees Standing Committee for Animal Nutrition

Short report of the meeting held on 26-27 October 2000

CHAIRMAN: W. Penning

1. Final report on the «Guidelines on the assessment of the efficacy of microorganisms in the animal categories dogs, cats and horses» based on the result of the working group «Requirements concerning the efficacy for micro-organisms in animal categories dogs, cats and horses». Conclusion.

The report on the « Guidelines on the assessment of the efficacy of micro-organisms in the animal categories dogs, cats and horses » was adopted by the Standing Committee. Using this report as a basis, the evaluation of existing dossiers on the authorisation of microorganisms for dogs and cats could be started by the next Standing Committee.

For the information of companies the guidelines will be published on the website of the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General.

2. Information on the state of play of the European Food Authority Proposal

The Commission is working on a Regulation of the Council and of the European Parliament establishing a European Food Authority. The French Presidency has already included this item on the agenda of one of the forthcoming meetings of COREPER.

This Regulation consists of three major parts: the establishment of general principles in food legislation, the creation of a European Food Authority and the establishment of principles for food safety.

3. Examination (with possible opinion) of a draft Commission Regulation (EC) amending (EC) Regulation No 2439/1999 on the conditions for the authorisation of additives belonging to the group "binders, anti-caking agents and coagulants" in feedingstuffs and the rescission of Commission Regulation (EC) No 739/2000.

As the internal Commission procedure was not yet finalised, the draft Commission Regulation was distributed as a working document.

Sufficient monitoring data on the presence of dioxins have been provided for silicic acid (E551a), colloidal silica (E551b), kieselgur (E551c), calcium silicate (E552), sodium aluminosilicate (E554), bentonite-montmorillonite (E558), lignosulphonates (E565), perlite (E599) and clinoptilolite of volcanic origin. These data, originating from different Member States and/or origins, have been examined by an expert group. The experts concluded that these additives are not contaminated with dioxins or contain levels below the analytical limit of determination ,and stressed that these conclusions are only valid for the "virgin product or mined product" and do not apply if the product is obtained as a by-product from an industrial process. Sodium, potassium and calcium stearates were identified as not being contaminated with dioxins on as long as the fats from which these additives are derived are themselves not contaminated.

No comments were made by the Committee on the conclusions of this expert group and the Committee could therefore accept the deletion of the requirement calling for systematic monitoring but it stressed the importance of continuous random checks.

No or inadequate monitoring data have been submitted for calcium sulphate dihydrate (E516), vermiculite (E561), natrolite-phonolite (E566), synthetic calcium aluminates (E598) and clinoptilolite of sedimentary origin. Consequently, it was impossible to assess the possible risk of dioxin contamination in these additives. In order to protect public health it is therefore appropriate also to set provisionally for these additives, and in line with the provisions for kaolinitic clay, the maximum limit at 0.5 ng WHO-TEQ PCDD/F / kg on a pending completion of the scientific risk assessment.

As no objections were forthcoming the Commission intends to present for a vote, upon completion of the internal procedures, a draft Regulation containing the above mentioned provisions at the next meeting of the Standing Committee.

4. Undesirable substances and products in feedingstuffs: Further follow-up of contamination cases.

- Cadmium in zinc sulphate originating from China

- Lead in zinc oxide originating from China

- Dioxin in zinc oxide originating from Turkey

- Dioxin in copper oxide originating from Korea.

- Green meal pellets: survey of drying techniques

- Presence of mineral oils in feedingstuffs

No new findings have been reported since the last meeting. Many delegations were in favour of including the monitoring of heavy metals and dioxins in trace elements and minerals in a co-ordinated control program (cf. Agenda Item 14). It was agreed that the Commission's departments would address these issues with the third countries concerned once more detailed information from the Member States became available

Concerning the presence of mineral oils in feedingstuffs and given the very technical nature of the issue it was agreed to set up an expert group to discuss the analytical aspects in detail.

The German delegation informed the Committee of the position of the German authorities concerning recent initiatives in connection with the presence of dioxins in feed materials, in particular fish oil, fishmeal and fish feed. The Commission was not in favour of a discussion at this stage, preferring to await the opinion of the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition due very shortly.

The Dutch delegation informed the Committee that traces of gasoline had been found in palm pulp originating from Indonesia. The batches concerned have been seized in order to safeguard public health. Further investigations are under way and the Commission and the other Member States will be informed in writing once more detailed results are available.

5. Use of feed additives claiming to offer a mycotoxin binding action - Exchange of views.

Letter from the German delegation

Two scientific studies on the use of mycotoxin binders have been completed. The investigations were carried out in order to test the claimed positive effects of different additives on the presence of mycotoxins. The results show clearly that the claims are not supported by the results of investigations.

Member States are therefore requested to take action to counter these unjustified claims and inform the companies involved that scientific studies supporting the claims have to be submitted before such claims can be mentioned on the label or advertised. Action is required because unjustified claims jeopardise public and animal health.

Given the growing awareness of the presence of mycotoxins in feedingstuffs and the possible positive effects of certain additives on the bio-availability of the mycotoxins, the possibility of creating a new category of additives was mentioned.

6. Use of "guidance levels" for undesirable substances in feedingstuffs. Exchange of views

The Committee was informed that on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture, guidance levels for deoxynivalenol and zearalenone for feedingstuffs for pigs (sows and fattening pigs), cattle (dairy cattle and bovine), and chicken (broilers and laying hens) are shown. In the accompanying text it is explained that the guidance levels are intended to facilitate the diagnosis of feed-related disorders and that compliance with the guidance levels will not adversely affect animal health animal production. These guidance levels have not been notified to the Commission;

The Commission indicated that the Netherlands have announced their intention to adopt upper limits for deoxynivalenol in wheat-based feed materials and compound feedingstuffs. The Commission has requested the Dutch authorities to submit a scientific case for these measures and to postpone their adoption.

The Commission pointed out that there might be distortion of the functioning of the internal market if Member States applied different national "guidance levels" for undesirable substances. In order to protect public and animal health and to secure a proper functioning of the internal market, the Commission announced it would request the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition to carry out a scientific risk assessment concerning the presence of Fusarium toxins including not only zearalenone and deoxynivalenol but also fumonisins, e.g. nivalenol. On the basis of this scientific risk assessment, Community measures will be proposed if necessary and appropriate, in order to reduce the presence of these Fusarium toxins in feed materials and feedingstuffs.

7. Examination of a draft Commission Decision establishing a list of feed materials whose use for animal nutrition purposes is restricted or prohibited

Due to a lack of time, the item was not considered and will be included in the agenda of a future meeting.

8. Implementation of Commission Decision 2000/285/EC of 5.4.2000 - Letter from the German delegation (on sewage sludge)

Due to a lack of time, the item was not considered and will be included in the agenda of a future meeting.

9. Exchange of views on a Draft of the European Community position in response to a questionnaire sent to member countries of CODEX on lists established to control the use of prohibited and undesirable substances in animal feedingstuffs or other approaches

A working document was discussed in which written comments from some member States received prior to the meeting were included.

One delegation advised it was unable to give a final opinion as their internal discussion on the draft was not yet finalised.

Following a detailed discussion of the working document , the Commission will draft a new text with a view of discussing the revised document

The delegations were also invited to send comments on Codex- document CL-2000/30-AF before 30 October.

10. Draft report of the working group on the revision of Directive 70/524/EEC on trace elements for pets .

The report of the working group on the revision of Directive 70/524/EEC on trace elements for pets. (Doc.SANCO/2611/00) was distributed to the delegations. The conclusions of the report will be included in the draft Commission proposal for a Commission Regulation amending Directive 70/524/EEC on trace elements.

The Commission informed the German delegation that it was not possible to present the proposal to the Standing Committee until the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition delivers its opinion on copper.

11. State of play by the rapporteur Member States on the dossiers which fall under the scope of Article 9g (4) of Council Directive 70/524/EEC, following the 30 September deadline for the submission of dossiers.

The Commission representative presented an update on the implementation of Article 9g: all dossiers relating to additives and additive uses which fall under the scope of Article 9g were sent to the rapporteur Member States before 30 September 2000, as provided for in paragraph 4 of the said article. The Member States agreed to formally start the 60 days period in which to check the conformity of the dossiers with the requirements of Directive 87/153/EEC on 15 October 2000. Consequently, the Standing Committee will be consulted on this particular aspect of dossier evaluation in January 2001, i.e. within 30 days of the completion of the 60 days conformity check.

One rapporteur Member State objected to the strict compliance with Article 4, (4), arguing that more time was needed to check that the rules on dossier presentation have been complied with.

12. Anti-caking agents: sodiumferrocyanide - Verein für Deutsche Salzindustrie e.V: Evaluation of the dossier - Article 4 (6) (day 0 : 29. September 2000) (rapporteur: D)

The Commission representative explained that since 29 September 2000 the dossier was officially under evaluation and urged the Member States to submit their comments on it within the time limits set by Article 4, (6) of Directive 70/524/EEC.

13. Anti-caking agents: potassiumferrocyanide - Verein für Deutsche Salzindustrie e.V: Evaluation of the dossier - Article 4 (6) (day 0 : 29. September 2000) (rapporteur: D)

The Commission representative explained that since 29 September 2000 the dossier was officially under evaluation and urged the Member States to submit their comments on it within the time limits set by Article 4, (6) of Directive 70/524/EEC.

14. Implementation of Article 22 of Council Directive 95/53/EC: state of the play and exchange of views on a co-ordinated inspection program for the year 2001.

The Commission representative summarised the situation outlining the difficulties in drawing a definitive conclusion for a co-ordinated program to be carried out in 2001 based on the results on the inspections carried out in 1999. The following items were proposed for inclusion in a draft recommendation on the co-ordinated program:

- Monitoring on the contamination of certain products to be used in animal nutrition with dioxins, PBC and heavy metals.

- Continuation of a Salmonella monitoring program on proteins of vegetal origin carried out in 1999.

-Monitoring of the possible use on additives for which authorisation has been suspended or withdrawn, and for additives for which maximum limits have been set.

Most delegations insisted on discussing and adopting the recommendation as soon as possible so that where necessary the national programs for 2001 which have been planned already or are due for adoption in the near future could be adjusted.

A few delegations suggested that the co-ordinated program should focus on fewer and more specific issues.

The Commission representative undertook to provide a draft recommendation for discussion in the next Standing committee.

Any other business

1.- Reported accident regarding a genetically modified maize authorised for animal consumption in USA and diverted into preparation of human food.

Although the said GMO maize is not authorised in Member States, the Commission representative informed the Member States about the possible importation of this product and its possible direct introduction into human food chain as happened in the USA.

A number of Member States referred to the enormous range of possible destinations for agricultural products and to the problem of monitoring the final destination of imported cereals.


Regulatory Committees Standing Committee for Animal Nutrition



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