Brussels, 17 Mar 2003
Some 15 opinions and reports relating to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and genetically modified (GM) plants, as well as the harmonisation of risk assessment methods were adopted by the scientific steering committee (SCI) at its plenary on 6 and 7 March.
In the field of TSE, the committee adopted a report on the field trial evaluation of two new rapid BSE mortem tests which were evaluated using previously approved tests.
It is expected that these tests will help foster competition in this field. The committee concluded that these tests should be formally approved within the framework of the TSE regulation (999/2001).
Other important TSE related opinions adopted include that on chronic wasting disease and tissues; the geographical risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (GBR) and the BSE risk of the bovine autonomic nervous system.
The committee also adopted guidelines for risk assessment of genetically modified plants and derived food and feed. In the opinion that accompanied the report, the committee stressed the need to regularly update risk assessment guidelines in this area so that those in the industry who wish to submit applications for product approval can remain properly informed.
Finally, in an effort to harmonise further risk assessment methods, the committee also adopted a report on the ecological risk assessment of chemicals and another on risk assessment for animal populations, particularly wildlife.