The European Commissions's Scientific Steering Committee last week adopted no fewer than 15 opinions and reports - covering a broad range of multidisciplinary areas such as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) and genetically modified (GM) plants - at its plenary meeting last week.
The Commission writes that in the field of TSEs, the most important opinions relate to Chronic Wasting Disease, the safety of phosphates derived from bovine bones, the BSE risk of the bovine autonomic nervous system and the field trial evaluation of two new rapid BSE post mortem tests.
Two new tests have been adopted that should help to create more competition in the field, claims the steering group. They have gone through the full evaluation process, consisting of an initial laboratory evaluation and a field trial under practical conditions. The SSC recommends their formal approval in the framework of the TSE Regulation (999/2001).
The SSC also adopted an opinion to use the "Guidance document for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants and derived food and feed" prepared by the Joint Working Group on Novel Foods and GMOs and involving the general public through internet consultation. The document aims to guide food and farming industries in submitting applications for product approval in the field of GM plants and derived products. It will also serve as a guide for risk assessors in their safety evaluations.