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Press release

Strategies and methods to detect and quantify mammalian tissues in feedingstuffs


Brussels, 10 October 2001

Key words: BSE, mad cow, feedingstuffs, sample bank, classical microscopy, NIRS, NIRM, PCR


A consequence of the “mad cow” epidemic emerged in the early 1990s, was the Commission Decision 94/381/EC of 27 June 1994 (amended several times) stating the prohibition of the use of proteins derived from all mammalian tissues in feedingstuffs destined for ruminants. After the re-emergence of the crisis at the end of 2000, the European Commission has decided to extend this ban to other animal feeds and ingredients. By the Council Decision 2000/766/EC of 4 December 2000, processed animal proteins (meat and bone meal, meat meal, bone meal, blood meal, dried plasma and other products) are totally banned in feedingstuffs destined to farmed animal which are kept, fattened or bred for the production of food. In June, the Commission has decided to prolong the ban1 and to apply it also to exports.

To contribute to the development of new tools and methods for the detection and the quantification of meat and bone meal in the feedingstuffs, the European Project STRATFEED ( has been launched since the 1st January 2001 in the frame of the Measurement and Testing generic activity of the GROWTH programme (FP5).

The STRATFEED consortium is coordinated by the Agricultural Research Centre of Gembloux in Belgium and gathers 10 partners including official laboratories, research centres, universities and one private company (CRAGx, FUSAGx, ISS, IHCP-JRC, LAGC-GENCAT, NUTRECO, RIKILT, ROLT-CMLAG, SAC, UCO,) from 5 EU countries.

The RTD STRATFEED project includes the constitution of a European sample bank of authentic animal derived ingredients and feed samples, the improvement of the efficiency of the existing official method (i.e. Classical microscopy), the development and validation of new methods based on alternative techniques (i.e. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), Near-infrared microscopy (NIRM)) and the constitution of European databases. The STRATFEED project will be spread over 42 months.

The kick-off meeting of the STRATFEED project was held in Gembloux on the 12th January 2001. Presently the activities of the project are centred around -a- the constitution of a European sample bank including ingredients and feedingstuffs of different sources and countries, -b- the preparation of samples according to specific heat-treatment for the development of PCR methods, -c- the preparation of feed samples spiked with MBM at different levels to develop and test the different methods and -d- the development and validation of the different methods.

For further information please contact:

Pierre Dardenne, Head of Quality Department of Agro-food Products in the Agricultural Research Center of Gembloux;
tel.: +, fax: +

Dyanne Bennink, Scientific Officer, Research DG;
tel.: +; fax: +




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