Scientific Steering Committee (former MDSC)
Outcome of discussions
Minutes of the
Scientific Steering Committee Meeting of 14-15 September
Welcome, apologies, introductory remarks, declaration of
interest in relation to the current agenda
Prof.Dr.Pascal welcomed the
participants. He apologised Profs. Dr. Kemper, Wierup and
Kroes (for the whole meeting), Profs. Bridges and Hardy
(for 14 September) and Prof. Gibney (for 15 September)
. The list of participants is attached as annex
Mr.Carsin, Director of SANCO-C, the
directorate for scientific opinions informed the Committee
of the Commission Decision on the Nomination of the new
members of the SSC and thanked those, who do not return for
a second period in office, for their contribution to the
successful work of the SSC. He expressed the hope that they
will continue to co-operate with the future SSC and the
European Commission. The Chairman joined this
Declarations of interest:
No member declared an interest that
could prevent him from participating in the discussion on
any of the items on the meeting agenda.
Approval of the agenda
The agenda was approved with minor
changes required due to partial absence of some members.
The final agenda is attached as annex 2.
Approval of the minutes of the meeting of 06-07 July
The minutes of the meeting of 06-07 July
2000 were adopted without changes.
"Emerging health issues"
After an intensive debate it was agreed
to establish an overview of the emerging issues and to rank
them according to their probability/urgency. Prof. Bridges
will re-draft the introductory text to the list in line
with the discussion held. It is envisaged to adopt an
opinion on emerging health issues at the next meeting.
Notwithstanding, the issue is a permanent one, meaning that
also the forthcoming SSC should regular up-date the list
and analyse if the Commission has to be made aware of a
"Emerging health issues: pilot exercise applied to
The draft paper was extensively
discussed and general agreement on the main conclusions was
achieved. A revised version of the paper was distributed to
all members for written comments and a finalised version
will be tabled at the next meeting, for adoption.
Harmonisation of risk assessment procedures
Prof.Bridges, chairman of the Working
Group, provided a detailed progress report. A final draft
report is expected to be submitted for adoption at the
Safety of cotton (new question)
The SSC was asked to advice the
Commission on how best to address a new interdisciplinary
question regarding the safety of cotton products such as
feminine hygiene products (e.g. tampons, sanitary pads
etc), baby or adult incontinence products (e.g. nappies,
etc), "medical cotton" product (cotton balls, make-up pads,
gauze, etc) and cotton fabrics and garments.
After discussion it was agreed that
Prof.Hardy would draft a short information note exploring
the various multidisciplinary aspects of the question. This
note will be discussed at the next meeting. It will then
also be decided how the question will be addressed (e.g. as
a multidisciplinary SSC working group, as a working group
reporting to one of the Scientific Committees but with
members from various SCs or as a single question attributed
to one single Scientific Committee.)
Multidisciplinary matters relating to TSE/BSE
Report by the chairman of the TSE/BSE ad-hoc
Prof. Gibney reported briefly on the
meeting of the TSE/BSE
ad hoc Group of 31 August 2000. All items addressed
ad hoc group are further dealt with in detail under
point 5.2 of these minutes.
Reports on specific issues:
Recent declaration of Prof.Prusiner on BSE in sheep
(July 2000) and
Discussion on recently published research results on
The SSC shared the view of the TSE/BSE
ad-hoc group on these points. It agreed on the statement in
annex 3 and to its pre-publication on the Internet.
Handling and storage of possibly BSE contaminated
Prof.W.Bridges presented a brief account
of the useful and numerous comments received so far,
following the public consultation process via Internet that
ended on 28 July. It is expected that a final document will
be available for adoption by the SSC at its meeting of
22-23 October 2000.
Quantitative risk assessment (vertebral column),
The use of ruminant-derived tallow in bovine feed,
The use of ruminant-derived tallow in milk replacers for
Update of certain opinions (including on
cross-contamination) in the light of the opinions on Human
Exposure Risk and Infective Dose and Species
The SSC followed the proposal of
Prof.Vanbelle to jointly address these four items (5.2.d,
e, f, and g) once all of them are mature enough, even if
this requires postponing it to December 2000. However, the
SSC expressed the hope to be able to finalise it in October
Following the discussion at the last
SSC-meeting 23 country reports and the final opinion were
finalised and put on the Internet. The Czech Republic and
the Slovak Republic were informed of the fact that their
reports were not finalised.
In view of the SRM-decision (2000/418/EC
of 29/6/2000) and the assumed need to assess, before April
2001, the GBR of many more Third Countries the SSC
suggested a certain approach to this task. In line with
this proposal the Commission decided to set-up a task force
for that purpose, consisting of two internal and two
external experts. The SSC was further informed that it was
planned that the task force produces for each country a
draft report, including requests for clarification or for
additional information. After approval by the GBR-peer
group the reports will be transmitted to the respective
countries for comments. In view of the comments, and
possibly a meeting of the task force with country experts,
the reports will be finalised by the task force. After
approval by the GBR-peer group, the finalised reports will
be transmitted to the SSC for approval, probably in
February/March 2001. A first batch might be ready for
In preparing the new round of assessment
a small group developed a new questionnaire that is
intended to guide the applicant countries in providing
their information and to ease the access of the assessors
to that information. This questionnaire will be sent to all
countries concerned by the SRM-Decision.
Efforts have been undertaken to identify
all these countries and up-to 54 could still potentially
ask for an assessment. Nine dossiers are already received
and the other 45 countries will receive, soon after the
SSC-meeting, an official letter from DG-SANCO. This letter
informs them of the situation and invited them to provide a
dossier before end October. A copy of the above-mentioned
questionnaire is attached to the letter.
First case of BSE in a UK bovine born after 1 August
Export from the UK of bone-in veal.
The SSC took account of the discussion
held at the TSE/BSE ad-hoc group and the text proposed for
the opinion on the UK-bone in veal. It concluded that
indeed the case in question would not change its position
that carcasses of 6-9 month old veal, that otherwise comply
with all conditions of the DBES, do not pose a
non-negligible risk for the consumer. However, on the basis
of the available information it is not possible to conclude
if the case results from maternal transmission or from
feed. The SSC therefore underlined once more its concern
that a case resulting from (cross-) contaminated feed born
would put in question the assumed 100% efficiency of the
1996-ban. The adopted opinion on "export from the UK of
bone-in veal" is attached as annex 4.
Update of the opinion of May 1999 on the evolution of
the BSE-epidemic in the UK.
The SSC was informed on the progress
made, which indicates that the decline of the epidemic is
still in line with the scientific expectation, or even more
profound. An opinion is expected for October 2000.
Pro-active opinion on risk scenarios, should BSE in
sheep be found under natural conditions. Monitoring of
research results on experimental BSE in small
The SSC was informed on the progress
made and agreed on the need to be prepared for the case
that BSE would be confirmed in sheep under natural
conditions. A report for discussion is expected for
December 2000 or January 2001. The next meeting of the
Working Group was scheduled for 26/09/2000.
TSE and culling
A draft opinion "BSE-related culling"
was tabled, discussed and, after some amendments, adopted
(see annex 5).
Origin of BSE and the "3
route of transmission of BSE".
The SSC was informed that the working
group met for the first time and agreed on an outline of
its report, a work distribution between its members and on
a work schedule. A report is expected for January 2001. The
WG will not only address the various hypotheses on the
origin of BSE but also on its transmission.
Alternative explanations for the origin of BSE: report
to the SSC.
The SSC discussed briefly the proposed
explanations and followed the suggestion of the TSE/BSE
ad hoc group to invite the authors to provide solid
scientific evidence before a further discussion of the
issue would be sensible. The secretariat will send a
corresponding letter to the authors.
Upcoming new questions
The SSC has been informed of the
upcoming new questions outlined in annex 6. These questions
will be forwarded to the TSE/BSE ad-hoc group as
The discovery that blood of sheep experimentally
infected with BSE but still being healthy (= about 1/2 into
their incubation period), being able to transmit BSE to
another sheep by the route of blood transfusion (
The Lancet, 16 September 2000)
The SSC discussed the Houston
et al communication that was published in
The Lancet during the SSC meeting. Houston
et al report on a finding that blood of sheep
experimentally infected with BSE while still being healthy
(= about 1/2 into their incubation period) did transmit BSE
to one other sheep via blood transfusion.
The SSC decided to set-up a
multi-disciplinary working group (WG) that should as soon
as possible look into this matter. The WG should not only
The Lancet paper but also collect additional
scientific information that in the meantime became
available on the subject and assess whether there is a need
to revisit the blood-related scientific opinions of the SSC
and of the SC-MPMD. If such need exists, then the WG should
propose up-dates of these opinions. This might, however,
need to be postponed until the full research results are
available. The WG should also (urgently) obtain from MAFF
what homologous experiments have been done in cattle
(including the BSE pathogenesis experiments) and what the
results tell us.
No organisational matters were
Co-ordination: Reports of the Chairmen of the 8
The chairmen of all Scientific
Committees provided written reports on the activities of
their committees since the last SSC meeting (see annex
Information by the Commission services on matters
related to consumer health
DG RESEARCH informed the SSC of a
conference of the co-ordinators of TSE-projects, funded
under the European Framework Programme for RTD. All members
of the SSC and the TSE/BSE
ad-hoc group were invited to participate in the
otherwise not public conference. A member of the SSC was
looked for that could address the conference on Risk
Assessment in the TSE-context.
The members were unhappy about the late
information on this conference, that they find to be highly
relevant to their work. However, it proved immensely
difficult for them to make themselves available.
Any other business.
The meeting ended on Friday 15 September
2000, at 16h00.
The next meeting will be held in
Brussels, on 23/24 October 2000, starting at 10h00.
List of participants in the Scientific Steering
Committee meeting on 14 - 15 September 2000
Members of the SSC :
Ing. Georges Bories, Prof. James W.
Bridges (15 September only), Dr. Fulgencio Garrido Abellán,
Prof. Michael Gibney (14 September only), Prof. Anthony R.
Hardy (15 September only), Prof. Philip T. James, Dr. Keith
Prof. Fritz H.Kemper (excused), Prof. Werner Klein,
Dr. Ib Knudsen,
Prof.Robert Kroes (excused), Prof .Albert Osterhaus,
Prof. Gérard Pascal, Prof. Vittorio Silano, Prof. Marcel
Prof. Martin Wierup (excused)
Participants from the Commission:
DG SANCO:B. Carsin, P. Vossen, J.Kreysa, J.L. Jouve,
J. Vergnettes, M. de Sola, G. Fracchia, F. Drion, A.
Sanabria, G. Morrison, J.J.Rateau, M. Hotter, A. Klepsch,
DG RTD: A. Luchetti, A. Di Giuilio
JRC: C. Von Holst
Annex 2: Agenda of the Scientific Steering Committee
Meeting of 14-15 September 2000
1. Welcome, apologies, introductory
remarks, declaration of interest.
2. Approval of the agenda.
3. Approval of the minutes of the
meeting of 6-7 July 2000
4. Multidisciplinary matters:
a. "Emerging health issues"
b. "Emerging health issues: The case of
genetically modified plants".
c. Harmonisation of risk assessment
d. Safety of cotton (new
5. Multidisciplinary matters relating to
5.1. Report by the chairman of the
TSE/BSE ad-hoc group
5.2. Reports on specific issues:
Recent issues that need
a. Recent declarations from
Prof.Prusiner on BSE in sheep (July 2000);
b. Discussion on recently published
research results on TSEs.
Production systems and products.
c. Handling and storage of possibly BSE
d. Quantitative risk assessment
c. The use of ruminant-derived tallow in
e. The use of ruminant-derived tallow in
milk replacers for calves
f. Update of certain opinions (including
on cross-contamination) in the light of the opinions on
Human Exposure Risk and Infective Dose and Species
h. First case of BSE in a UK bovine born
after 1 August 1996
i. Export from the UK of bone-in
j. Update of the opinion of May 1999 on
the evolution of the BSE epidemic in the UK.
k. Pro-active opinion on risk scenarios,
should BSE in sheep be found under natural conditions;
monitoring of research results on experimental BSE in small
l. TSE and culling
m. Origin and transmission of BSE
n. An alternative explanation for the
origin of BSE: report to the SSC.
o. Listing of upcoming new
-. Vertical transmission (survey
-. Alternative means/methods of
treatment of TSE risk materials: controlled use of SRM as
fur animal feed; alternative heat/time/pressure
6. Organisational matters.
7. Co-ordination: Reports of the
Chairmen of the 8 Scientific Committees
8. Information by the Commission
services on matters related to consumer health
9. Any other business
Annex 3: Comments of the Scientific Steering Committee
(SSC) on some TSE-issues that recently emerged in the
scientific and popular press.
At its meeting of 14-15 September 2000,
the SSC also discussed the following issues as a follow-up
to the TSE/BSE
ad hoc Group meeting of 31 August 2000.
A recent brief Communication in Nature (10 August 2000),
suggests that, on average, no more than two cases of vCJD
could arise from the consumption of one maximally infected
bovine, as opposed to previous estimates that this number
could exceed 100. This would result in a significant
reduction of the expected maximum number of future vCJD
The SSC noted that this short
Communication contains quite limited scientific details and
that the model leading to the results on which the
conclusions are based, contains many assumptions. It noted
that in an earlier publication of January 2000, the same
research team accepted a much wider range of up to more
than 100 vCJD cases that could arise from 1 maximally
infected bovine. The assumption is made that only those
with the presently observed susceptible genotype are at
risk. Also, the communication does not take into account
the most recent raise in numbers of vCJD cases. The SSC
considers that in the field of TSEs there are still so many
unknowns that it is very difficult to make predictions on
future numbers possibly to be expected, especially in this
stage of the epidemic.
Prof.S.Prusiner's recent hypothesis (reported on in the
Sunday Times of 23 July 2000) that BSE prions in sheep may
have been there all the time at very low levels that pose
no significant risk to humans but that unusual
circumstances might have allowed them to spread either
through the sheep or cattle population and accumulate to
levels hazardous to humans.
The SSC noted the outcome of the
e-consultation of Europe's main TSE experts organised by
its secretariat in July 2000, which was in line with the
final clarification provided on 2 August 2000 in a letter
from Prof.Prusiner to the SSC Secretariat. BSE was not
produce in mice by infecting them with material suffering
from scrapie but both sheep scrapie and BSE prions had been
transmitted to mice which are engineered to mimic cattle.
From his findings Prusiner
et al advance the
hypothetical scenario that "it is possible that low
levels of the BSE 'prion strain' are actually endemic in
the scrapie sheep population, but that the BSE prions never
surface as such because their presence is marked by the
more rapidly growing sheep scrapie strain. Any unusual
selective treatment, such as the change in rendering
process, could remove the less dangerous sheep scrapie
strain and allow the BSE strain to accumulate and spread to
the cattle population". In conclusion, "BSE prions in sheep
may thus have been there all the time at very low levels
that pose no significant risk to humans but unusual
circumstances might have allowed them to spread either
through the sheep or cattle population and accumulate to
levels hazardous to humans."
The SSC considered, as for the Collinge
paper (see hereafter), that the Prusiner hypothesis in its
present form (i.e., without published details) does
presently not trigger the need for an immediate revision of
the SSC's various "TSE in sheep" related opinions. It is,
however, obvious that Prof.Prusiner's research and similar
work by others, will be monitored carefully and, once
finalised and published, further assessed by the Working
Group presently carrying out a pro-active risk assessment
for the case that BSE in sheep would be found under natural
et al publication ("
the Collinge paper") in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences (August 2000) on the possible
presence of subclinical TSE infectivity in certain animals
and its implications for the definition of cross-species
barriers of TSE transmission.
The SSC considers that most of the
scientific evidence on which the paper is based, was either
known to it or anticipated by the SSC and has been
appropriately addressed in various scientific opinions. As
a matter of principle, the SSC has not based its risk
assessments with regard to the safety of animals on results
of end-point titrations with clinical disease in laboratory
animals as the sole parameters. Furthermore, the SSC
reviews and updates its existing opinions in the light of
emerging scientific data, on regular basis. The relevance
of 4 of the SSC opinions with regard to the Collinge-paper,
is summarised in annex. The following incomplete list of
SSC recommendations, can be presented as an example on how
the possible existence of subclinical infections with
important public health implications with relation to
dietary exposure, have already been taken into account in
the SSC opinions
Product safety (gelatine, tallow, meat-and-bone
meal, dicalcium phosphate, ...): the opinions start from
the hypothesis that an animal with TSE, but apparently
healthy, would be slaughtered and assume
a very low species barrier. The recommended
production standards aim, when a TSE risk cannot be
excluded, for safe sourcing of raw material, removal of
SRMs and severe processing conditions.
Geographical risk: a risk level is attributed to the
ruminants of countries or regions where BSE might be
present, even if no clinical case have been
SRMs: removal of the ruminant tissues with the
expected highest infectivity levels, should they be
slaughtered without a TSE having been diagnosed;
- No further use of
fallen stock and certain animal categories, as a TSE
could be at the basis of the death or could be
[undiscovered] present in certain animals.
- Avoidance of
intra-species recycling (see annex for
The SSC concluded that there is at
present no need to revise its TSE-related opinions. It,
however, asks its secretariat to request from the UK and
the EC research authorities the most up-to-date research
results on TSEs in pigs, poultry and in fish. From an
analysis of this info should appear whether there is a need
to revisit certain opinions.
It also asks the TSE/BSE
ad hoc Group to assess whether there is a need for
an adaptation of TSE surveillance strategies in farmed
animals and whether there is a need to update the opinion
on breeding for scrapie resistant sheep as a means to
control TSEs in small ruminants.
The relevance of 4 SSC opinions with regard to the
Collinge paper (August 2000).
ad hoc Group considers that most of the scientific
evidence on which the paper is based, was either known to
or anticipated by it and has been addressed in various
scientific opinions. To be mentioned especially are:
a. The Opinion of 24-25 June 1999 on The
risks of non conventional transmissible agents,
conventional infectious agents or other hazards such as
toxic substances entering the human food or animal feed
chains via raw material from fallen stock and dead animals
(including also: ruminants, pigs, poultry, fish,
wild/exotic/zoo animals, fur animals, cats, laboratory
animals and fish) or via condemned materials.
b. The opinion of 22-23 July 1999on the
policy of breeding and genotyping of sheep, i.e. The issue
of whether sheep should be bred to be resistant to
c. The opinion of 17 September 1999 on
the risk born by recycling animal by-products as feed with
regard to propagating TSE in non-ruminant farmed
d. The opinion of 13-14 April 2000 on
Oral exposure of humans to the BSE agent: infective dose
and species barrier. (Adopted following a public
consultation via internet between 6 and 27 march
first opinion considers the risk to the public, to
animals and to the environment from transmissible
biological and chemical agents which may be present in
fallen stock and dead animals. The opinion makes
recommendations on how such risks can be minimised. In the
light of experience with BSE this includes consideration of
unconventional and as yet unknown agents. The risk to man
from dead animals and condemned materials is considered to
- The nature and level of the agent(s)
present in the dead animal / fallen stock, which in turn
relies on accurate diagnosis and measurement;
- The prospect of intra and interspecies
- The actual processing / disposal
- The prospects of human exposure as a
consequence of the processing / disposal.
Whilst also addressing zoo-,
laboratory-, exotic- and pet animals, the opinion states,
with respect to the susceptibility of pigs, poultry and
fish to become infected with TSEs is concerned, that there
is only evidence that pigs can become infected through
intra-cerebral inoculation with infectious BSE material. To
date no experiments have shown that pigs, poultry or fish
could be infected with TSE
via the oral route. Whilst recognising that
via the i/c route has been shown for a number of
animal species, the to date not proven hypothesis that
orally TSE-inoculated non-ruminants without any signs of
disease could carry the TSE-infection in their tissues has
is considered unlikely.
second opinion addresses, amongst other issue, that
an animal not showing clinical signs can be infectious. It
mentions the experimental evidence for the existence of
hidden infectivity. It clarifies that "resistant" sheep may
include animals that remain clinically free of scrapie
signs for normal life-span but could still harbour
the infectious agent, posing a threat by maintaining the
infectious agent. It points at the possible existence, for
sheep, of carrier animals with latent scrapie infection,
that will not itself develop disease but with the ability
to pass infection on to other sheep. This opinion also
states that cross species persistence may also occur:
hamster scrapie injected into mice does not produce disease
but the hamster scrapie remains in brain and spleen of the
mice and can be recovered in a form still able to infect
hamsters. The SSC concludes, amongst others, that the
possibility that sheep may harbour a latent scrapie
infection exists and if so, that they could pass an
infection to other sheep.
third opinion, on intra-species recycling, stated in
mid 1999, that:
"a. So far no scientific evidence exists
to demonstrate the natural occurrence of TSE in farmed
pigs, poultry and fish, which may create a basis for an
intra-species progression of a TSE infection due to
b. Given the limitations of the
surveillance in certain areas, and the length of the
incubation time in relation to the normal (=economic or
commercial) life span of the animals, it can not be
excluded that cases occur and that, perhaps more important,
an undetected pool of infectivity is build up.
c. Because of these two preceding
points, the SSC wants to underline that in scientific terms
absence of evidence is neitherevidence of absence nor of
presence of a risk. However, it is impossible to exclude,
on the basis of the available evidence, that TSEs are
already present (albeit undetected) in non-ruminant farmed
animals, in particular not if there is reason to assume
that these species have been (and might still be) exposed
to BSE-contaminated feed (produced from ruminants).
d. Recycling of animal material, in
general, will increase the risk that cases occur or
undetected infectivity pools develop,in particular if
potentially BSE (TSE) contaminated material is recycled to
ruminants or (possibly) susceptible non-ruminants.
e. Intra-species recycling will, due to
the absence of a species barrier, increase the risk
f. If recycling, and in particular
intra-species recycling, of animal material to farmed
animals can not be avoided, all measures that reduce the
recycled infectivity would reduce the risk.
g. Measures that reduce the recycled
- exposing the recycled animal material
to a treatment by 133°/20'/3b or equivalent
- excluding those tissues known to carry
the highest infectious load (SRM),
- excluding fallen stock from the
production of feed,
- stop feeding pig, poultry or fish
potentially contaminated feed a sufficiently long period of
time before slaughter in order to reduce the risk of
recycling infectivity via the gut-content.
h. It has to be understood that
- the possible measures would not be
able to reach a zero risk should infectivity enter the
recycling loop, and
- that due to the long incubation time
of this type of disease a significant risk would have build
up before an incidence becomes visible (as has been seen in
the case of BSE in the UK).
i. The SSC considers R&D in the
field of surveillance and (pre-clinical) diagnostic of TSEs
and the experimental transmission of TSEs to farmed
(non-ruminant) animals to be of highest priority."
fourth opinion states, on species barrier: "The size
of the species barrier for BSE-in-ruminants to
BSE-in-humans is not known and may be large (for example a
barrier of the order of 1000, as assumed in some risk
assessments) or small. Given the conflicting scientific
data and thus the uncertainties about the bovine-to-human
species barrier as outlined in this document, the
assumption of a worst case scenario considering no (=1)
barrier should be included, although available evidence
indicates that values greater than 1 are likely to be more
realistic. The Working Group therefore recommends that,
until more scientific data are available, for risk
assessments of human exposure to potentially BSE
contaminated products, a species barrier of about 1 should
considered as a worst case scenario and that, in risk
assessments, the range from 10
4 to 10
1 is considered. The latter order of magnitude
would imply that the minimal infective dose value(s)
considered/accepted to be valid for animals, should also be
applied for humans."
Annex 4 :
Report and Scientific Opinion on: EXPORT FROM THE UK OF
BONE-IN VEAL adopted by The Scientific Steering Committee
at its meeting of: 14-15 September 2000 (Distributed
Annex 5 :
Opinion of the Scientific Steering Committee on the
BSE-related culling in Cattle adopted at the meeting of
14/15 September (Distributed separately)
Reports from the secretariats of Scientific Committees
on the major activities and milestones since the SSC
meeting of 6/7 July 2000.
Scientific Committee for Plants
At the Plenary meeting of 22 September,
the following 4 opinions were adopted:
1. Opinion of the Scientific Committee
on Plants regarding the evaluation of ethoxysulfuron in the
context of Council Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the
placing of plant protection products on the market.
2. Opinion of the Scientific Committee
on Plants regarding the evaluation of thiabendazole in the
context of Council Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the
placing of plant protection products on the market.
3. Opinion of the Scientific Committee
on Plants regarding the evaluation of a document concerning
the FOCUS groundwater scenarios in the EU registration
4. Opinion on the submission for placing
on the market genetically modified maize (
Zea maize) Line GA 21 with tolerance to glyphosate,
notified by Monsanto - (notification C/ES/98/01).
Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition (SCAN)
Working groups continued their work on
the different questions currently submitted to the
Committee. Some of them met in September.
For most of the feed additives under
discussion, additional informations are requested from the
Companies owning these products and pending receipt of
answers, no adoption of report is expected.
Concerning more general questions like
the one on dioxins, the ad'hoc Working Group is close to
finalisation and the draft report is likely to be adopted
by the Committee in October.
Scientific Committee Veterinary Measures relating to
The different working groups of the
SCVPH continued their works and some of them finalised the
drafts, which were discussed at the plenary meeting of
The SCVPH adopted a report on
cysticercosis. Another report (on trichinella) has to be
circulated for possible adoption by Written
Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal
1. Animal Health
The subcommittee on animal health met on
27 September and approved two draft reports. The reports on
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis, a herpes virus and on
the inactivation of viruses in blood will now be discussed
in the next meeting of the Committee on 25 October, with a
view to their adoption.
Other ongoing issues in Animal Health
include a report on
brucella melitensis, tests for contagious bovine
pleuropneumonia, and transmission of fish disease agents
2. Animal Welfare
This subcommittee met on 26 September
and reviewed progress on two extensive reports, which are
currently being prepared in working groups. These concern
the welfare of animals kept for fur production and the
welfare of cattle farmed for beef production.
Both reports are expected to be
completed early next year.
Scientific Committee for Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the
Since the last briefing on CSTEE's
activities (included in the minutes of the SSC plenary
meeting held in 6/7 July 2000) the 17
th and 18
th plenary meetings of the CSTEE took place
respectively on the 5
th of September and 9
th of October 2000. In terms of progress made on
the opinion requests submitted to the CSTEE and other CSTEE
activities the following is of note:
A. During the 17
th CSTEE plenary meeting, opinions were adopted
on the following topics:
Methylene chloride and textile dyes.
BKH report "Towards the establishment of a priority
list of substances for further evaluation of their role
in endocrine disruption".
Validation of testing methods for phthalate
Cadmium in fertilisers - Programme of procedures for the
assessment of risk to health and the environment from
cadmium in fertilisers.
B. In conformity with the CSTEE opinion (adopted in
4 February 2000) on
"Technical Notes for Guidance on Data requirements,
version 4.3 December 1999, in support of Biocides Directive
98/8/EEC", a revision of the respective
chapter 1, lines 412 to 449,
took place and was presented to the CSTEE. This
related essentially to the so-called
. The CSTEE held the view that the changes introduced
to that section were in conformity with the comments made
by the committee in its opinion. This position was stated
in the minutes of the September 2000 plenary meeting
without a need for a formal new opinion to state it.
Regulation 793/93 no opinions on the respective Risk
Assessment reports have been adopted since the SSC July
2000 plenary but the following ones are in the agenda of
th CSTEE plenary:
1,4 Dioxane; b)
1,4 Dichlorobenzene; c)
Methacrylic acid; f)
D. On the subject
"Terrestrial environment - Available scientific
approaches to assess the potential effects and risks of
chemicals on terrestrial ecosystems"
and after various submissions of a series of drafts
the final one should be submitted and adopted at the next,
th, CSTEE plenary which is also the last one of
the CSTEE before the new committee takes over. It is to be
noted that a pre-final draft has been presented during the
meeting of the Classification and Labelling working group
(Directive 67/548) that took place in Ispra in September
2000, where it was welcomed.
E. Activities continued on the topic
"Exposure data in risk assessment"
and a new topic
("Margins of safety")
was started by the CSTEE;
a working group was set up and met already once. This
activity, like the one previously mentioned, is set to be
continued by the next CSTEE.
F. The CSTEE also started again the tackling of the
EU Water Framework Directive
since it was finally submitted the outstanding report
"Development of a specification for the
intercalibration of biological monitoring methods - Final
Draft (European Commission Directorate General XI),
Report No: CO 4751/1 - October 1999".
Two working group meetings will have taken place
before the November 2000 plenary.
G. During the 18
th CSTEE plenary (9 October 2000) a new opinion
request was submitted by Directorate General Environment of
the Commission on the subject
Evaluation of sludge treatments for pathogen
a working group was also set up to address this
H. The next (19
th) CSTEE plenary meeting is due to take place
on the 9
th of November 2000. The 1
st meeting of the new CSTEE (20
th plenary meeting) is scheduled for the 5
th of December 2000.
Scientific Committee for Cosmetics and Non-Food
Since the last SSC plenary meeting, four
Working Party meetings took place, during which the
following items were discussed :
Alternatives : The question of consumer exposure is
very important for the risk assessment of ingredients.
However it happens that data transmitted by Industry do not
seem to be reliable and the worst case scenario must be
considered. More problematic is the situation where
consumers are exposed to ingredients through various types
of products (cosmetics, food, household products etc );
this would request a global and not sector-related risk
assessment. Presently the procedure to answer this
situation is not well defined.
Detergents : Presently the legislation on detergents
considers only environmental aspects but doesn't take into
account health issues. The SCCNFP has initiated a
reflection on the health risks (cutaneous effects) for
consumers due to the use of detergents, on the
identification of the responsible ingredients and on the
need to inform consumers.
Inventory : The SCCNFP is considering the updating
of Section II of the Inventory on perfume and aromatic raw
materials. It is agreed that, in spite of the fact that the
labelling of fragrance materials is not compulsory, the
information given in the Inventory should be more
transparent. The SCCNFP has presented proposals.
Preservatives, Colorants & Fragrances : the
SCCNFP initiated the evaluation of fragrance materials
which cosmetic products should not contain except subject
to the restrictions and conditions laid down. Basis for
this work is the IFRA list of restricted fragrance
ingredients. Draft opinions were prepared on 2 polycyclic
musks and addressed to the plenary meeting for
Scientific Committee for Medicinal Products and
HEALTH] - [
SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES] - [
SCIENTIFIC STEERING COMMITTEE] -
OUTCOME OF DISCUSSIONS]