Minutes of the Scientific Committee 25th August 2020

Minutes of the Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on Tuesday 25 August 2020 at 10.30am by video conference 

PRESENT: 

  • Prof. Albert Flynn (Chair) [AF]
  • Prof. Brian McKenna [BMcK]
  • Dr Michael O’Keeffe [MOK]
  • Dr Geraldine Duffy [GD]
  • Dr Mark Fenelon [MF]
  • Mr John Keegan [JK]
  • Prof. Kevin Cashman [KC]
  • Mr Ray Parle [RP]

IN ATTENDANCE: 

  • Dr Wayne Anderson [WA]
  • Dr Mary Flynn [MFL]
  • Ms Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]
  • Mr John Matthews [JM]
  • Ms Judith Giles [JG]

APOLOGIES:

  • Ms Paula Barry Walsh [PBW]
  • Dr Eleanor McNamara [EMcN]
  • Ms Ita Saul [IS]
  • Dr Donal Sammin [DS]
  • Dr Margaret O’Sullivan [MOS]
  • Dr PJ Cullen [PJC]
  • Dr Christina Tlustos [CT]
  • Dr Lisa O’Connor [LOC]

The meeting was held by video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Committee members extended their sympathy to Ita on the death of her husband Des last week.

1. DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Noted: There were no disclosures of interest.

2. AGREE MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (3 July)

Noted: The draft minutes were agreed with one amendment made.

3. MATTERS ARISING

Noted: All actions were completed except for the action relating to the amendment and sign off on the Seaweed report. The aim is still to sign the report off electronically and send this report to the Board for their meeting in September requesting their approval to publish.

Action c/f: POM/BMcK to amend the Seaweed report as discussed and circulate for electronic sign off.

4. SCIENTIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FOOD-BASED DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR OLDER ADULTS: VITAMIN D

Noted: In addition to the revised report tabled for the meeting, the Chair circulated a draft summary including some suggestions on the recommendations. The Committee agreed to include a recommendation on dietary sources, and they refined the recommendation on supplementation. The reference to calcium was removed as it is already referred to in the report. Text will also be added to note that dietary requirements are set assuming adequate intake of all other nutrients such as calcium.

Clarification was sought by MOK about the recommendations addressing deficiency of Vitamin D and not adequacy, and it was agreed to explain that there is debate internationally on defining adequacy. In the section on the safety of Vitamin D supplementation, a new sentence will be added to note that the findings of recent trials using high dose Vitamin D were inconsistent, and the UL of 100 µg is still considered appropriate. Some formatting and editorial comments were accepted. The Committee decided that the summary text will replace the key issues section at the start of the report and the request for advice will be included as an appendix.

The Committee adopted the report subject to the amendments agreed. The Chair thanked the PHN Subcommittee for their work and the members for their comments, noting this was a very helpful discussion. WA acknowledged the contributions of MFL, OL, AF and KC. The report will be sent to the Board and then to the Department of Health by the end of September.

The Committee also noted that the PHN Subcommittee can decide how the Vitamin D report fits into the Food based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) for Older Adults report in terms of structure and formatting.

Action: Committee members to send on editorial comments.
Action: AF/KC/MFL to finalise the report as discussed.

5. UPDATE FROM AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEE ON MAP AND CROHN’S DISEASE

Noted: No further progress has been made due to the Chair being involved in COVID-19-related scientific support. It is hoped this work will recommence shortly.

6. UPDATE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION SUBCOMMITTEE

Noted: MFL gave an update on behalf of IS. The work is progressing well on most sections of the report, however some sections have still to be drafted by FSAI staff. It was noted that the work on the Vitamin D report and follow-up on the FBDG for 1-5 Year Olds has delayed this. A section on Vitamin C has been included in the report. Some common recommendations are emerging from the different sections. The recommendations will be ready in October. MFL acknowledged the work of the PHN subcommittee members.

7. UPDATE FROM BIOLOGICAL SAFETY SUBCOMMITTEE

Noted: GD noted that progress on the risk ranking of microbiological hazards project has been slow due to WG members being involved in COVID-19 support work. A WG meeting will be scheduled in the autumn to discuss the work done so far to calculate the total burden of illness for Campylobacter and the approach for expert elicitation relating to the attribution of the burden of illness to food. A report will be prepared before the term of the Scientific Committee ends with an update on the work carried out to date and the plan going forward.

8. CORRESPONDENCE

Noted: There was no correspondence received.

9. AOB

Noted: There was no other business discussed.

10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Noted: The next meeting will be scheduled at the end of October. The Chair thanked everyone for their contribution to the meeting.

 

Last reviewed: 9/11/2020

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