FSA Discusses Relaxation of Meat & Bone Meal Ban

UK - The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has discussed a proposal to relax certain provisions in the current ban on the use of meat and bone meal (now called processed animal protein, PAP) in feeds for poultry and pigs.
calendar icon 9 September 2011
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There follows a summary of the report by Alison Gleadle, Director of Food Safety.

The European Commission is proposing to amend European Union (EU) rules to allow the feeding of processed animal protein (PAP) derived from non-ruminants (other than fish) to non-ruminants of a different species. The Commission anticipates taking a vote on the proposal later this year. Implementation would be subject to the availability of validated tests to monitor compliance. The Board is asked for its advice on food safety and the other interests of consumers in relation to this proposal, in order to inform Ministerial decisions on the position the UK Government should take in the forthcoming negotiations.

On the food safety implications, the Board is recommended to agree to advise Ministers that the proposed relaxations of the feed ban would pose a negligible risk to consumers of exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), provided that separate channelling of material derived from different species is strictly maintained throughout the feed chain and a suitable, validated DNA-based test to monitor compliance is available before the entry into force of any changes; the UK should not support the changes unless effective enforcement of, and a high level of compliance with, the controls to prevent cross-contamination of feed for different species can be assured; there is no evidence that the proposed changes could give rise to a new risk from a pig or poultry transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), although some uncertainty on the susceptibility of non-ruminants to TSEs exists; if, following adoption of the proposed changes, a TSE were identified in pigs or poultry under natural conditions, it would be necessary immediately to reinstate the full feed ban until a further risk assessment had been carried out.

On the views of consumers, the Board is recommended to agree to advise Ministers that the consumer engagement work carried out by the FSA, limited though it is, indicates that the majority of consumers spoken to are averse to the proposed changes, because of the perception that the feeding practices proposed would be unnatural and because they consider that controls should not be changed if doing so would result in an increase in risk, however small; further communication with consumers is recommended to help their understanding of the risks and potential benefits of the changes.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

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