Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures
relating to Public Health
Outcome of discussions
report of the meeting held on 21 December 1998 in
Brussels (approved at the meeting on 05 February
List of Participants
Prof. A. Osterhaus
Prof. R. Gilbert (first
Prof. D. Vuitton (second
Prof. J. Fink-Gremmels, Prof. A.
Johnston, Prof. A. Macri, Prof. A. Mantis, Prof. E. Nurmi
, Prof. E. Quinto Fernandez, Dr. J. Schlundt, Dr. I.
Vagsholm, Prof. F. Van Knapen, Prof. P. Willeberg
Prof. O. Kaaden, Prof. V.
Mr. T. Christoforou (LS)
Mr. R. Vanhoorde (DG XXIV), Mr. B.
Verleysen (DG XXIV)
Mr. H. Winter (DG VI)
1. Declarations of interest
No new declarations of interest were
2. Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted.
3. Adoption of the minutes of the meeting of 30
The minutes were adopted subject to
some editorial changes.
4. Discussion and possible adoption of a scientific
opinion concerning cooling of carcasses during
The Committee examined the revised
draft report as well as some additional information and
comments received from members of the Working
The Committee considered that the
current text was lacking in coherence and clarity and
that the draft report needs an update in the light of
more recent scientific evidence. Furthermore, several
members questioned the relevance of growth
characteristics of particular bacteria that are addressed
in the draft report.
The Committee maintained its previous
decision not to return to the Working Group and decided
to set up a restricted drafting group in order to upgrade
and to finalise the draft report (contributions to be
circulated by e-mail / fax) in view of its possible
adoption at the next plenary.
5. Establishment of a Working Group for a
complementary risk assessment on the use of
The chairperson/rapporteur of the
Working Group presented a list of possible external
experts for the Working Group. It was explained that the
list was established on the basis of the scientific
qualifications of the candidates and on their recent
publications in peer reviewed scientific literature.
Scientists that are currently carrying out research
projects on hormones which are financed by the Commission
or scientists which have formally and publicly taken a
position in the "hormone case" were omitted for the sake
of independence. Scientists with known regulatory or
commercial involvement were disregarded for the same
Whilst recognising the high
qualifications of the experts proposed, several members
questioned the appropriateness of the great number of
American scientists and also their independence. A few
questioned the limited number of experts covering the
field of veterinary science.
The rapporteur explained that, because
of the ban on growth hormones in the EU, expertise in
Europe on this issue is not overwhelming and that,
moreover, several famous European scientists are involved
in Commission-funded research projects. A Commission
representative stressed that the highest priority should
be given to the scientific excellence and the
independence of the experts and confirmed that the
Working Group as well as the Committee would have full
access to the outcome of the additional studies initiated
by the Commission. The Secretariat clarified that, in
view of the sensitivity of the subject, members of the
Working Group will be asked to declare in writing any
interests that could be regarded as prejudicial to their
independence in the light of this question. Furthermore,
it was clarified that the rapporteur has the possibility
to come back to the plenary in order to consider possible
changes / extensions to the Working Group whenever this
Recognising the experience and
scientific excellence of the experts proposed, the
Committee mandated the rapporteur to select the Working
Group members from the list on the basis of their field
of expertise and their availability. The Secretariat is
asked to circulate subsequently the final list to the
members of the Committee for formal approval. However,
considering the pressure of time, it was decided that
members will only be given a few days to respond to this
6. First discussion on a preliminary draft report
concerning the use Bovine Somatotropin;
The rapporteur presented the draft
report which is addressing public health aspects and
animal health and animal welfare aspects. It was
explained that, because of the nature of the aspects to
be addressed, the Working Group concentrating on the
public health aspects considered r-BST whereas the other
group considered evidence arising from the use of
products which are currently licensed and commercialised
in certain third countries.
A joint meeting with the rapporteurs
of both Working Groups was organised in view of
integrating and balancing the input of both Working
Groups in one single draft report. The rapporteur
regretted that further changes were made after this
co-ordination meeting. A consensus by the welfare group
is expected to be available by 13 January.
Being appointed "chef de file" on this
question, the Committee asked to be provided, for the
next plenary, with the final and approved part on animal
welfare aspects and that the chairperson / rapporteur of
the other Working Group be invited to the Committee to
participate in the discussion in the plenary.
With a view to have the final draft
report available for the March plenary, members of the
Committee are invited to communicate their comments to
the rapporteur (with copy to the secretariat) by 05
February. Considering the comprehensiveness of the issue
it was decided to transform the March plenary into a
two-day meeting (i.e. 15-16 March 1999).
7. Establishment of a joint Working Group with the
Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) on microbiological
standards for listeria.
A Working Group will be organised as
soon as the members who will participate on behalf of the
Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) are appointed.
8. 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
The rapporteur gave a feedback on the
Working Group meeting of 17 December. A final Working
Group meeting is scheduled for 04 February.
9. 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;
The next Working Group meeting is
scheduled for 22 January.
10. Progress report on the request for a scientific
opinion concerning the prevalence and methods of
control of cysticercosis;
The second Working Group meeting is
scheduled for 29 January.
11. Progress report on the state of progress on the
multidisciplinary Working Group on antimicrobial
Feedback was given on the ongoing
work. A Working Group meeting is planned for 07
The Secretariat referred to an
exercise that it had been informed was being organised
"in parallel" by industry and pointed out the possible
conflict of interest and the possible adverse public
perception of an active involvement by Committee and
Working Group members.
12. Feed-back by the chairman on subjects discussed
in the SSC which are of interest to the Committee;
The chairperson gave a short overview
of ongoing work in the SSC. Special attention was drawn
to the harmonisation of risk assessment procedures where
input from the Committee is requested. Two members of the
Committee will prepare a contribution by
In future the agenda of the SSC will
be made available to the Committee for
13. Feed-back by members of the Committee having
attended Working Group meetings of other Scientific
Reference was made to the Working
Group on Johne's / Crohn's disease (next - final? -
meeting is scheduled for 19 January) and to the work on
fallen stock and recycling of animal waste.
Next meetings are scheduled
05 February 1999 (chairperson
15 and 16
30 April 1999,
11 June 1999.
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