FEEDAP Panel marks the occasion of its 100th plenary meeting
Today, EFSA is holding the 100th plenary meeting of its Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP Panel). Since 2003, when it was established, the Panel has been assessing the safety of feed additives on human and animal health and the environment, publishing over 540 scientific opinions. Through its work, EFSA supported the European Commission in taking more than 270 decisions on the authorisation of feed additives in the European Union.
When speaking about the importance of the work of the FEEDAP Panel, the current Chair, Kristen Sejrsen, said: “It helps ensure that our food is safe and that the additives found in feed do not have harmful effects on animals, users, consumers of the products derived from animals fed the additives and the environment”.
The FEEDAP Panel is the first EFSA Panel to reach the landmark 100th plenary meeting. The work of the Panel supports risk managers in their decisions on the authorisation of feed additives.
The high number of meetings that the Panel has held is related to its ongoing re-evaluation of feed additives that are on the market and were authorised under the previous regulatory framework. The aim of this work, required under the current legislation on feed additives, is to ensure that all feed additives in Europe are re-assessed following the same principles, taking into account the latest scientific developments. The deadline for the submission of the applications was 2010 and this explains the sharp increase in the number of opinions adopted by the Panel in the past three years.
Since its inauguration, the FEEDAP Panel has adopted several guidance documents to help feed additives manufacturers to prepare their applications. These documents address comments submitted by stakeholders during public consultations or dedicated meetings.
“Our Panel is composed of 19 experts in the areas of animal nutrition, toxicology, microbiology, ecotoxicology and veterinary medicine. It is a privilege to work with such a broad range of specialised experts coming from all over Europe” said Claudia Roncancio Peña, Head of EFSA’s FEED Unit.
When speaking about the scientific challenges that the FEEDAP Panel will face over the next 5-10 years, Prof. Sejrsen referred to the synergistic and/or antagonistic effect of exposure to multiple substances in feed: “A challenge is likely to be how to assess individual compounds that could interact with each other and create an unforeseen effect”.
Feed additives are products used to improve animal feed, to enhance flavour, or to make them more digestible. They include for example vitamins. flavourings and enzymes used as zootechnical additives (e.g. digestibility enhancers, gut flora stabilizers)