EFSA provides update on plans to assess the safety of goat meat and goat meat products with regard to BSE/TSE

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) provided an update today on its plans to assess possible risks associated with the consumption of goat meat. The BIOHAZ Panel has undertaken this work following findings of a research group in France concerning a suspected case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) infection in a goat, confirmed today by the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL).

On 26 November 2004, EFSA published a statement on the safety of goat milk and derived products with regard to possible risks from BSE/TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy). The BIOHAZ Panel reaffirmed today that important information gaps do not allow, at this stage, the quantification of BSE-related risks with regard to the consumption of goat meat. The Panel stresses that the significance of this single case of BSE infection in a goat in France is yet to be assessed. In order to do so, the results of the increased monitoring of TSEs in goats as proposed by the European Commission will be essential. The BIOHAZ Panel’s ability to carry out a quantitative risk assessment will be determined by the availability of the monitoring results and further experimental and epidemiological data. The success of its work will also depend on access to unpublished findings from Member States and third countries. EFSA will review progress with members of its Advisory Forum at a meeting scheduled next week following a call for data launched in November 2004. The BIOHAZ Panel expects to provide further advice relating to the safety of goat meat and goat meat products by July 2005.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Carola Sondermann, Senior Press Officer
Tel: +32 2 337 2294
Carola.Sondermann [at] efsa.europa.eu

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Anne-Laure Gassin, EFSA Communications Director,
Tel : +32 2 337 2248
GSM: +32 478 330 19 68
Anne-Laure.Gassin [at] efsa.europa.eu

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