Minutes of the Scientific Committee - 9th April 2019

Minutes of the Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on Tuesday 9 April 2019 at 2pm in the FSAI – The Market 1

PRESENT

  • Prof. Albert Flynn (Chair) [AF]
  • Prof. Brian McKenna [BMcK]
  • Mr Ray Parle [RP]
  • Dr Mark Fenelon [MF]
  • Ms Ita Saul [IS]
  • Dr Donal Sammin [DS]
  • Dr Eleanor McNamara [EMcN]
  • Mr John Keegan [JK]
  • Dr Michael O’Keeffe [MOK]
  • Ms Paula Barry Walsh [PBW]
  • Prof. Kevin Cashman [KC] (by teleconference)

IN ATTENDANCE

  • Dr Pamela Byrne [PB]
  • Dr Mary Flynn [MFL]
  • Mr John Matthews [JM]
  • Ms Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]
  • Ms Áine Brady [AB]

APOLOGIES

  • Dr Geraldine Duffy [GD]
  • Dr Margaret O’Sullivan [MOS]
  • Dr P J Cullen [PJC]

1. DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Noted: There were no disclosures of interest.

2. AGREE MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (14 December)


Agreed: IS had some observations on the minutes which she sent to ÁB. The draft minutes were agreed to include the comments from IS.

3. MATTERS ARISING

Noted: Most of the actions were either completed or on the agenda; two were carried forward.

Action: WA/MF to make a decision regarding the project ‘The food safety and nutritional aspects of thermal processes (total thermal loading) applied to dairy products’.

Action: MF to circulate the new technologies report including the annexes to the Committee for electronic sign off. 

4. RULES OF PROCEDURE

Noted: Having reviewed the FSAI Act regarding disclosure rules and confidentiality WA realised the rules are not completely aligned with the Act. Consequently the rules of procedure have been amended. Minor changes have also been made to reflect current practice that had diverged from the rules for practical reasons. A GDPR statement has been added. 

Action: The Committee discussed signing off reports electronically. It was decided to revisit this issue. 

Agreed: The Rules of Procedure was agreed with one minor change.

5. REQUEST FOR ADVICE – MAP

Noted: JM went through the request for advice on Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (MAP) and the possible links to Crohn’s disease (CD). In 2000 the Scientific Committee reviewed the evidence of causality between MAP and CD. The conclusion of that report was that the available data were inconclusive and a direct link between MAP and CD could not be established. In 2008 the Microbiology Subcommittee conducted a more formal review of the research and opinion published in the years since the original report in 2000. The Committee concluded that the balance of available evidence did not support a causal relationship between MAP and the incidence of CD. With the publication of further research and advent of new technologies it is time to revisit this question.

Action: DS to agree the mandate for advice and set up an ad hoc subcommittee. 

6. REQUEST FOR ADVICE – HEALTHY EATING GUIDELINES FOR THE ELDERLY

Noted: MFL went through the request for advice on Health Eating Guidelines for Older Adults. It has been nineteen years since the FSAI published the ‘Recommendations for a national food and nutrition policy for older people’ report. Since then, there have been considerable advances in scientific knowledge on optional nutritional intakes to enhance the well-being of older adults. In light of the new Department of Health Eating Guidelines published in 2016, healthy eating guidelines for older adults need to be developed. 

Agreed: Change the title to ‘Scientific Recommendations for Healthy Eating Guidelines for Older Adults’. 

Action: MFL to change some of the wording used in the document. MFL will be meeting with the DoH tomorrow and will discuss this with them and report back. 

7. HEALTHY EATING GUIDELINES FOR TODDLERS AND PRE-SCHOOLERS REPORT

Noted: IS informed the group that there was a meeting of the PHN Subcommittee and Working Group held in March and the issues that came from the last meeting of the Scientific Committee were taken on board. It was agreed to focus on the recommendations of the report for this meeting. The comments received included the following: separate unfortified milk replacements; help to ensure adequate status for the three key nutrients in milk; change the level to not giving more than the recommendation in milk; add potatoes to the breads, cereals, pastas and rice section; merge the poultry, fish, eggs, beans and lentils section; remove the vegetarian section as this was covered in the eggs, beans and lentils section; move the processed meats to after the red meat section.

Action: MFL to look back on the modelling to get more information in relation to wholemeal portions. MFL to update the report.

8. BRIEF UPDATE FROM SUBCOMMITTEES

Biological Safety

Noted: AF gave an update on Biological Safety on behalf of GD. The working group on Risk Ranking of Microbiological Hazards has had two meetings to date. The focus of these meetings has been on scoping the organisms/diseases to be included in the ranking and on identifying the most appropriate methodology to use. A special meeting is planned with an international expert in May. This expert has been involved in a Dutch estimation of disease burden of foodborne pathogens and in the WHO estimation of the global burden of foodborne diseases. 

Chemical Safety

Noted: MOK gave an update on Chemical Safety. The Risk Ranking of Chemical Contaminants Report has been signed off and is ready for publication. There was a Chemical Safety Subcommittee meeting yesterday. The request for advice on Botanicals was the main topic. Joris Geelen attended the meeting and gave a presentation on the BELFRIT approach. Instead of setting up a sub group for this it was decided to keep it with the subcommittee. The next meeting will take place at the end of June.

Seaweed Safety

Noted: BMcK gave an update on Seaweed Safety. There are no changes to the request for advice. The first meeting will take place next Tuesday. There are 10 external members in the group.

9. WORK PLAN

Action: AF informed the group that the work plan had been updated. It was agreed to discuss it at the next meeting.

10. CORRESPONDENCE

Noted: There was no correspondence received.

11. AOB

Noted: There were no items under AOB.

12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Noted: The next meeting will take place next week to finish looking at the recommendations of the Healthy Eating Guidelines for Toddlers & Pre-schoolers Report. ÁB will send an invite.

 

Last reviewed: 28/6/2019

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