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Success story: Healthy Feed for Safety - Dissemination of research results of EC-funded research on feed quality

Project summary/objectives

The FEED-SEG-project (www.feed-seg.net) has brought together experts from academia, industry and decision-makers to exchange know-how, to discuss, and to prepare recommendations for the future policy development in the EU feed quality and safety. This networking group has also identified the most promising research fields in feed safety to improve and develop healthy feed for the safety of humans and livestock. The objective was to bridge the research results of various existing EU-projects (REPLACE, FEED for PIG HEALTH, SAFEWASTES, …) which are all focusing on feed-research in the future and therefore to identify new research topics, policies and tendencies for the prospective development within the EU. One important topic was to identify effective alternatives to the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) which are banned in the EU since 2006.

Project activities

The 30-months project activities included the promotion and facilitation of the dissemination, exploitation and transfer of current EC-funded research projects' results during international symposia, and the project integrated researchers and experts from the New Member States (NMS) and Associated Candidate Countries (ACC).

Within the FEED-SEG-project, two International Symposia with well reputed speakers (experts not only from academia and industry but also from official organisations as e. g. EFSA, FEFANA and FEDIAF etc.) entitled "Plant-derived feed additives - Recent scientific results and regulatory development” were held, one symposium launched after the first year of the project in Mosonmagyaróvár / Hungary from 14th to 15th of January 2008 and one final symposium in the second year in Parma / Italy from 30th of March to 1st of April 2009 , both with more than 100 participants. The feedback of both symposia was very positive.

The FEED-SEG-group also organised and held four workshops for all project partners with specifically invited international experts.

  • Vienna / Austria from 19th to 20th of April 2007 (in parallel with Kick-off-meeting)
  • Graz / Austria on 6th of September 2007
  • Pulawy / Poland from 10th to 11th of June 2008
  • Istanbul / Turkey from 6th to 7th of October 2008
  • Bucharest / Romania on 23th of September 2009

During the kick-off-meeting the 14 participants of FEED-SEG were subdivided into three expert working-groups (WG) to support policy development at EU level and to contribute to identifying research agendas for future community research in the field of feed security, feed additives, antimicrobials and functional compounds. These WGs are: 1. Feed labelling and traceability, 2. Food quality and food related public health, 3. Feed additives.

Within the different working-groups also several small meetings were held and each expert working-group defined the most important areas for future research and relevant policy recommendations following discussions with a panel of experts.

An online platform has been established to disseminate research results, which includes a standard project website and an online communication platform. The online communication platform has included also a database to collect project ideas and a matchmaking tool for organising bilateral cooperation meetings at the symposia. It was created to discuss and plan common and cooperative future research projects for the next calls of Framework Programme 7 and the following project proposals have been submitted until now:

During the whole duration of FEED-SEG 10 proposal concepts have been discussed which all made it to a submission. The following gives an overview of these proposal concepts that have been initated through the FEED-SEG activities:

  • Two project proposals within Capacities have been submitted in 2008: Research for the benefit of SMEs

Belgian company whose representatives took part at the Hungarian symposium.
The two concepts mainly dealt with feed production and needed further scientific data on the safety and efficacy of these feed additives. Therefore, the contract research funding was the best choice.

  • One project has been submitted within the 2008 Call of KBBE Topic: European non-food crops and their industrial application. Coordinator was the University of West-Hungary (Prof. Akos Mathe).

The idea was to set up a operating network of stakeholders and experts in the field of non-food crops. A mapping database of promising plant-based products derived from non-food crops, networking activities, exchange of personnel, etc. were the main parts of the proposal concept.

  • Four projects have been submitted within the 2009 KBBE call by the following participants of FEED-SEG:
    • Università degli Studi di Udine
    • Institute for Soil Science and Plant Cultivation
    • Università di Milano
    • University of Veterinary Medicine

According to current information two applications have been successful and have been invited for negotiations with the European Commission.

Also an online-survey has been carried out to identify specific national problems and conditions within the EU-27 and associated countries in the field healthy feed for the safety of livestock and humans. Furthermore, possible obstacles to a common research approach and the current expertise available have been evaluated.

Survey and project results

The main objective of this survey was to get an overall representative picture of the current development in the field of animal feed in EU Member States, New Member States (NMS) and Associated Candidate Countries (ACC). The increasing production of food from animal origin and the resulting increasing requirement of animal nutrition show the importance of improving the conditions in all fields of animal feed. To maintain the safety of livestock and therefore the safety of human consumers, it is necessary to implement a standardized system for quality management to enable an efficient and sustainable surveillance of production and distribution of animal feed in all countries.

The results of the survey show that there are partly big differences between European countries in many fields concerning animal feed. Due to the financial situation of some states there is a lack of research funding. By enhancing the regional and international cooperation between the European Countries it should be possible to adjust the level of development at least in knowledge. An active exchange of information between experts will make it easier to find collective possibilities to manage issues like residues, impurities, pathogens, antibiotics or respective the ban of antibiotic growth promoters, and to establish (on European level) valid threshold-values for toxins and other food/feed contaminants.

Main problems which should be solved are capacity building, funds, clear and transparent national food and feed safety strategy and more harmonized legislation with EU-standard developed operational procedures. We have to continue to invest in the development of new approaches to stimulate and support animal health with new feeding strategies, including new alternative feed additives aimed to further support animal health and improved animal breeding with emphasis on robustness and capacity to resist disease.

In addition, the FEED-SEG project produced a number of recommendations for the European Commission and so it contributes to EU-policy. Recommendations to policy-makers and recommendations on future important research topics have been developed by the three working groups. This summary lists the main policy recommendations and research topics for the future that have been developed: (please, download the relevant report from the FEED-SEG website – www.feed-seg.net)




Call: FP6-2005-FOOD-4-C, Feed-SEG, 43077
Healthy food for safety: dissemination of research results of EC-funded research on feed quality.
European Commission scientific officer: Jean Charles CAVITTE

Coordinator:
Mag. Barbara Greineder / Prof. Chlodwig Franz
University of Veterinary Medicine
Institute of Applied Botany
Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
Chlodwig.franz@vu-wien.ac.at
website: www.feed-seg.net
EC Food catalogue

List of partners

University of Veterinary Medicine

UVW

ID Lelystad, Institute voor Dierhouderij & Diergezondheid

ASG

Freie Universität Berlin

FUB

Università degli Studi di Udine

UNIU

Nutrition Sciences N.V.

NS

BIOMIN GMBH

BIOM

RTD Services

RTDS

Institute for Soil Science and Plant Cultivation

IUNG

Rowett Research Institute

RRI

Università di Milano

UNIM

University of Bristol

UNIVBRIS

Anadolu University

ANAU

National Research and Development Institute for Biology and Animal Nutrition

IBNA

West Hungarian University

WHU