Scientific Committee on Food
Outcome of discussions
Minutes of the
th Plenary Meeting of the Scientific Committee
on Food held on 4 December 2000 in Brussels
ATTENDANCE LIST LISTE DES PARTICIPANTS
Mrs. S. BARLOW, Mr. A. CARERE, K-H.
ENGEL, W. GRUNOW, T. HIRVI, Mrs. A. KNAAP, Mr. B. KOLETZKO,
J.C. LARSEN, S. LINDGREN, A. PALOU, J. SCHLATTER, W. SARIS,
P. TOBBACK, P. VERGER, J.-M. WAL, R. WALKER
Apologies for absence:
J. ALEXANDER, A. FLYNN, B.
Mr. S. ABILDGAARD (DG Health and
Consumer Protection), B. MATHIOUDAKIS (DG Health and
Consumer Protection), Mrs. A. NADAS (DG Health and Consumer
Protection), Mr. L. ROSSI (DG Health and Consumer
(DG Health and Consumer Protection)
Mr. M.A. GRANERO ROSELL, D. PETTAUER, D.
LIEM, M. ROMARÍS, Mrs. H. PEDERSEN
Agenda items 1. to 4. were chaired by
the SCF Secretariat.
1. Apologies for absence
The apologies were noted.
2. Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
3.1 Introduction by the Commission services
Mr. Peter Wagstaffe, Head of the Unit
C/3 "Management of Scientific Committees II; scientific
co-operation and networks", responsible for the management
of several Scientific Committees including the SCF,
welcomed the members of the SCF under the new mandate. He
presented the views of the Commission on items related to
the independence of members, transparency of procedures and
confidentiality, which were based on the experience
obtained during the last mandate of the Committee. He also
explained that the Commission envisages some structural
changes of its services in view of the establishment of the
future European Food Authority.
3.2. Background: General Information on the SCF
The Secretariat introduced the
legislative background to the Committee's work and
explained that the working group structure of the SCF
reflected the fields of Community food legislation
requiring mandatory consultation of the SCF on proposals
for measures which may have an effect on public health.
Rules would allow for the creation of specific ad-hoc
groups if required due to the size or nature of particular
requests. Examples are the Task Force on Dioxins, which
recently finalised its work, and the Task Force on Upper
Levels on Vitamins and Minerals. An updated draft
information pack was presented to the members containing
the essential background documents related to the work of
4.1. Election of Chairperson
The Secretariat introduced the
modalities of the election procedure, which require that
successful candidates would receive a simple majority of
votes from the members making up the Committee. The chair
and the vice-chairpersons had to be elected
Dr Ada Knaap was unanimously elected as
Chair for the coming term.
4.2. Election of First and Second Vice
Dr Sue Barlow was elected unanimously as
first vice-chair, and Prof Andreu Palou was elected
unanimously as second vice-chairman of the SCF.
The members and the Secretariat
congratulated the chairpersons, and Dr Knaap took over the
chair. Dr Knaap thanked the members for their confidence in
her. She reminded the Committee that food safety is an
issue of serious public concern, and stressed the important
contribution of the SCF to the establishment of the
scientific basis for Community rules on consumer health
related to food.
5. Rules of procedure of the Committee
The Committee discussed the rules of
procedure established by the SCF for its previous mandate.
These rules cover items relevant for the operation of the
Committee, as the election of the chairpersons,
confidentiality, declarations of independence, the role of
ad hoc experts and others. Some comments were made on
confidentiality provisions. The Secretariat undertook to
clarify this issue.
6. Declarations of interest. Annual declarations of
The Secretariat explained that members
are required to inform the Commission of any interests,
which might be considered prejudicial to their
independence, and to declare specific interests at each
meeting. Practical measures to apply these principles were
7. Working Programme
The Secretariat presented a status
report on the requests for opinions, which are presently
under consideration by, or are being submitted to the
Committee. The report demonstrated the large variety of
requests and the enormous workload of the Committee.
8. Structure and composition of Working Groups
The Secretariat described the structure
of the working groups of the SCF covering the areas of food
hygiene, flavourings, additives, nutrition, novel foods,
contaminants and materials in contact with food. A specific
task force had been set up to cover upper levels for
vitamins and minerals. The Committee decided to suspend the
working group on food intake and exposure, but agreed to
include the consideration of intake and exposure questions
in the work of the relevant working groups. It was agreed
that an ad hoc group could be established if need
The Secretariat proposed some changes in
the procedures of the Working Group on Novel Foods in order
to ensure close co-ordination with the relevant working
group of the Scientific Committee on Plants on issues
related to genetically modified organisms.
The Secretariat explained that other
activities within the present system for scientific advice
to the Commission might also require that SCF members
provide their expertise, e.g. to working groups of the
other scientific committees.
8.1 Appointment of working group chairpersons
The members were invited to indicate
their availability for participating in the individual
working groups. The Committee appointed chairpersons for
the working groups as follows:
WG on Additives: S. Barlow
WG on Food Contact Materials: P.
WG on Contaminants: A. Carere
WG on Flavourings: K-H. Engel
WG on Nutrition: W. Saris
TF on Upper Levels: A. Flynn
WG on Novel Food: B. Moseley
WG on Food Microbiology and Hygiene: S.
9. Schedule of meetings 2001
Adoption of dates for plenary sessions, dates of
On the basis of a draft schedule
proposed by the Secretariat the Committee agreed on the
following schedule for SCF plenary meetings and initial
meetings of the working groups:
SCF plenary: 27 - 28 February, 29 - 30
May, 10 - 11 July, 25-26 September, 12-13 December
WG on Additives: 17-18 January
WG on Food Contact Materials: 20-22
WG on Contaminants: 25 January
WG on Flavourings: 23-24 January, 24-25
WG on Nutrition: 12 February
TF on Upper Levels: to be decided
WG on Novel Food: 1 February
WG on Food Microbiology and Hygiene:
16-17 or 17-18 January
10. Any other business
A co-ordination meeting of the SCF chair
and vice chairs, and the chairpersons of the working groups
will take place as soon as possible.
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SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON FOOD] - [
OUTCOME OF DISCUSSIONS]