Minutes of the Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on Thursday 5th November 2020 at 10:30am by video conference
- Prof. Albert Flynn (Chair) [AF]
- Prof. Brian McKenna [BMcK]
- Ms Ita Saul [IS]
- Dr Geraldine Duffy [GD]
- Dr Donal Sammin [DS]
- Dr Michael O’Keeffe [MOK]
- Mr John Keegan [JK]
- Prof. Kevin Cashman [KC]
- Mr Ray Parle [RP]
- Ms Paula Barry Walsh [PBW]
- Dr Eleanor McNamara [EMcN]
- Dr Wayne Anderson [WA]
- Dr Mary Flynn [MFL]
- Ms Oonagh Lyons [OL]
- Ms Judith Giles [JG]
- Dr Mark Fenelon [MF]
- Dr Margaret O’Sullivan [MOS]
- Dr PJ Cullen [PJC]
- Ms Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]
- Dr Pat O’Mahony [PJOM]
1. DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
Noted: There were no disclosures of interest.
2. AGREE MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (25 August)
Noted: The draft minutes were agreed.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Noted: The Seaweed report and the Vitamin D report were signed off and the Board approved their publication. Both reports are now with FSAI’s Communications Team. The Vitamin D report was sent to the Department of Health as requested and will be published shortly.
4. SCIENTIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FOOD-BASED DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR OLDER ADULTS
Noted: The Chair noted that this is an extensive report and a lot of work has gone into it. WA thanked the PHN Subcommittee for drafting the report in a short timeframe. MFL also acknowledged the work of the subcommittee and noted the vast amount of data available on older adults. The vitamin D section has already been agreed.
Noted: The report was discussed, with the focus on the Executive Summary outlining the key issues and recommendations. It was noted that the request for advice should be included as an appendix. There was a discussion on protein intake. It is important to ensure there is enough evidence to support some of the recommendations made. The recommendations involving body weight could be pulled out and issued together. The recommendation on bran needs further consideration in the fibre, iron and zinc sections. A suggestion to separate out ‘healthy’ and ‘frailer’ populations was made. A recommendation on fluids could be added in. Edits were made to the text on B vitamins, vitamin C and the key issues for vitamin D. RP raised the issue of including haemochromatosis in the iron section. ‘Dark meat’ should be clarified in the zinc section and more sources of zinc included. In relation to COVID-19, general good health and nutritional status is needed to protect against loss of immune function. IS/MFL/OL agreed to discuss the issues highlighted with the members of the PHN subcommittee involved and to revise the report.
Action: Committee members to send on comments by 10 November.
Action: IS/MFL/OL to update the report as discussed for the next meeting.
5. UPDATE FROM AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEE ON MAP AND CROHN’S DISEASE
Noted: DS confirmed that the work of this subcommittee will now be progressed. He has been in contact with the new technical secretariat Cristina Arroyo-Casabona to work on Q1; MF has draft text prepared for Q2; Q3 relates to research and knowledge gaps. A draft report will be prepared for early December.
6. UPDATE FROM BIOLOGICAL SAFETY SUBCOMMITTEE
Noted: GD noted that the risk ranking of microbiological hazards project will not be completed during the lifetime of the current Scientific Committee. A report is being drafted on the work completed to date, which will act as a handover document to the next Scientific Committee. This report includes: the background to the project; the selection of hazards; the calculation of the burden of total illness including a draft DALY output for 3 of the 7 hazards selected; how much of the burden of illness is attributed to food using expert elicitation. A meeting of the working group is scheduled for 12 November to discuss the report. WA thanked GD and the working group and noted they will be acknowledged in the final report published on the project.
Noted: A letter was received from the Baby Feeding Law Group Ireland relating to the Food-base Dietary Guidelines for 1-5 Year Olds report. It was agreed to consider it at the next meeting.
Noted: WA noted that a shortlist of 30 names for the new Scientific Committee has been sent to the Minister of Health by the Chair of the Board.
9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Noted: The next meeting will be scheduled the first week in December.