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Food Safety

Health - Scientific Committees - Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health - Outcome of discussions

Summary report of the meeting held on 30 October in Brussels (approved at the meeting on 30 November 1998)

List of Participants

MEMBERS

Prof. A. Osterhaus (chairperson), Prof. R. Gilbert (first vice-chairperson), Prof. D. Vuitton (second vice-chairperson), Prof. J. Fink-Gremmels, Prof. A. Johnston, Prof. O. Kaaden, Prof. A. Macri, Prof. A. Mantis, Prof. E. Nurmi , Prof. E. Quinto Fernandez, Dr. I. Vagsholm

APOLOGIES

Dr. J. Schlundt, Prof. F. Van Knapen, Prof. P. Willeberg

ABSENT

Prof. V. Caporale

COMMISSION

Mr. R. Vanhoorde (DG XXIV), Mr. B. Verleysen (DG XXIV) , Mr. H. Winter (DG VI), Mrs. N. Huyghe (DG XXIV), Mr. H. Belvèze (point 13) (DG XXIV), Mr. K. Madsen (point 13) (DG XXIV) -

  1. Declarations of interest
  2. One member declared a possible interest with regard to point 7 of the agenda.

  3. Adoption of the Agenda
  4. The agenda was adopted.

  5. Adoption of the minutes of the meeting of 20 July 1998
  6. The minutes were adopted.

  7. Fixation of the provisional calendar for plenary sessions in 1999
  8. Considering possible changes on the calendar of the SSC, it was decided to limit the provisional planning to the first half of 1999. Furthermore, with a view to the preparation of draft opinions for the plenary sessions, it was decided to schedule plenary session at a six weeks interval. Two days sessions could be envisaged when necessary.

    The following dates for plenary meeting were decided and members were asked to reserve them in their diaries:

    05 February 1999,

    15 March 1999,

    30 April 1999,

    11 June 1999.

  9. Discussion and possible adoption of a scientific opinion concerning the use of antimicrobial treatments of poultry carcasses, the various methods of carcass rinsing including trisodium monophosphates (TSP), organic acids and hyperchlorinated water;
  10. The Committee considered the amendments that were made in the light of the discussion at the last plenary. Subject to some editorial amendments the draft report was adopted unanimously.

  11. Progress report on the request for a scientific opinion concerning cooling of carcasses during transport;
  12. A draft report and conclusions that were in principle agreed upon by the working group and an additional contribution from a member of the working group were presented to the Committee. Members of the Committee were asked to communicate their comments on the orientations expressed in both documents.

    It was decided to discuss the draft report at the next plenary. The Committee will at that occasion decide on the opportunity to invite or to contact (a) member(s) of the working group to the following plenary. Meanwhile the draft will be subject of editorial scrutiny and will be circulated once more amongst the members of the working group.

  13. Progress report on the request for a scientific opinion concerning the revision of ante- and post- mortem inspection procedures for an alternative inspection system for the slaughter of pigs;
  14. Although he considered to be able to act independently on this issue, the rapporteur explained that he has been asked to advise his government and the industry on behalf of his institute on this question. Having discussed the subject of possible interests in detail, all members confirmed their confidence in the independence of the rapporteur who agreed to provide a description of his possible interests in writing. Meanwhile and by way of precaution on possible adverse perception, he suggested that he act as a member of the working group rather than as rapporteur. However, the Committee decided that there was no reason to ask the member in question to step down as rapporteur. A final decision will be taken at the next meeting when the written description of the possible interests has been obtained.

    The Committee discussed the working document and agreed with its general orientations. Several members commented that the report should concentrate on scientific elements and that certain aspects such as the presence and control of zoonotic diseases should be more scientifically developed. In addition the scientific reasoning and statements should be underpinned by more scientific data (e.g. risk quantification).

  15. Information concerning the mandate for a Working Group on the complementary risk assessment on the use of hormones and the establishment of a Working Group.
  16. A Commission representative explained that the exact wording of the mandate is still subject of an inter-service scrutiny. He announced however, that it will be submitted shortly by mail. Considering the very short deadline, the Committee was asked to reflect on names of highly qualified external experts for the working group and to communicate their details to the secretariat and to the provisionally appointed rapporteur. These experts should cover inter alia the following scientific disciplines: carcinogenicity, epidemiology, genotoxicity / mutagenicity, endocrinology, biochemistry.

  17. Progress report on the request for a scientific opinion concerning the use of Bovine Somatotropin;
  18. The draft report from the group addressing the pubic health aspects is currently being finalised and will very shortly be circulated amongst the members of the working group for agreement and/or comments.

    I order to ensure a coherent overall opinion, a restricted drafting meeting with experts from the group, that is addressing the animal health and the animal welfare aspects is scheduled for 01 December.

  19. Progress report on the request for a scientific opinion on the evaluation of microbiological criteria and temperatures for storage and transport of products of animal origin intended for human consumption: -
    - - partim microbiological criteria; -
    - - partim temperatures for storage and transport; -
  20. The rapporteur explained that because of the non-availability of its members it was not possible to arrange a working group meeting before 17 December.

  21. Progress report on the request for a scientific opinion concerning the prevalence and methods of control of cysticercosis;
  22. A first Working Group meeting took place on 29 October and a task distribution and time-table have been established. It was clarified that in its assessment the Group will address both T. Sagginata and T. Solium. The Committee endorsed the request of the Working group to appoint an additional external expert.

    The next Working Group meeting is scheduled for 29 January.

  23. Progress report on the state of progress on the multidisciplinary working group on antimicrobial resistance;
  24. Feedback was given on the ongoing work. A restricted drafting group is scheduled for 23-24 November and a full working group meeting is planned for 03 December. The Group is expected to present an orientation document by the end of the year and to deliver its final opinion around April 1999.

    Members are invited to communicate relevant scientific background information to the representative of the Committee in the Working Group as well as to the Secretariat.

  25. Feed-back by the chairman on subjects discussed in the SSC which are of interest to the Committee;
  26. The chairman informed the Committee on the progress on a series of TSE related issues (safety of hydrolysed proteins, fallen stock, processing of gelatine, recycling of animal waste, human exposure risk trough blood, bloodproducts and implantables, geographical risk, etc.). Reference was also made to the discussion on risk assessment and the harmonisation of working procedures.

  27. Feed-back by members of the Committee having attended working group meetings of other Scientific Committees;
  28. The Committee was informed that the working group examining the possible link between Johne's disease and Crohn's disease is at a progressed stage and that the final draft report is expected to become available by December / January.

    Information was provided on the progress in the working groups addressing the question of the BSE-status assessment and the recycling of animal waste.

  29. Miscellaneous.

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