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From: TSS (
Subject: EFSA Scientific Expert Working Group on BSE/TSE health risks of the consumption of milk and milk derived products from goats
Date: November 26, 2004 at 7:12 pm PST

Statement of the EFSA Scientific Expert Working Group on BSE/TSE of
the BIOHAZ Panel on the health risks of the consumption of milk and milk
derived products from goats
Last updated: 26 November 2004

83 kB Statement

of the EFSA Scientific Expert Working Group on BSE/TSE

of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards

on the health risks of the consumption of milk and milk derived products
from goats

The former Scientific Steering Committee of the European Commission and
recently the European Food Safety Authority (in its opinion related to
TSE surveillance and product safety in small ruminants) have recommended
that research should intensify on the safety of milk of small ruminants
with regard to TSE risks. Despite these repeated recommendations there
is very limited published research data on TSE in goats and infectivity
of goat products. Although limited new data are expected to be published
in the near future, there is still little research initiated in this area.

Some research data support the finding that milk, colostrum and tissues
of the mammary gland from bovines can be classified in the category of
no detectable infectivity. However, based on a number of observations
from research data, mainly research concerning sheep, there are
indications that infectivity in the milk from small ruminants cannot be
totally excluded. In case of mastitis, one could expect an infiltration
of potentially infected blood into the milk as the blood-milk barrier
may not or only partly exist. But even in the case of absence of
mastitis the barrier may not be 100% effective.

From the limited data available today it is concluded that in the light
of current scientific knowledge and irrespective of their geographical
origin, milk and milk derivatives (e.g. lactoferrin, lactose) from small
ruminants are unlikely to present any risk of TSE contamination provided
that milk is sourced from clinically healthy animals. Exclusion of
animals with mastitis is considered to reduce the potential risk.
Further assurance of healthy milk could include milk tests for total
somatic cell counts indicative of inflammation.

Working group members:

Prof. Herbert Budka

Prof. John D Collins
Christian Ducrot
James Hope
Ernst Lücker

Dr Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch

Publication date: 24 November 2004


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Commission submits French Research Findings on TSE in a goat to Expert Panel
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 09:26:19 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Commission submits French Research Findings on TSE in a goat to
Expert Panel
Reference: IP/04/1324 Date: 28/10/2004
















Brussels, 28 October 2004

Commission submits French Research Findings on TSE in a goat to Expert

Following the findings by a research group in France that they suspect
the presence of a TSE infection in a goats brain which tests cannot
distinguish from BSE, the European Commission has submitted data
received from the French authorities to the Community Reference
Laboratory (CRL) for TSEs based in Weybridge, England, for an evaluation
by an expert panel. TSEs are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,
namely BSE affecting cattle, and scrapie affecting goats and sheep. The
expert panel will evaluate, over the next two weeks or so, the
scientific evidence to see if it indicates the presence of BSE in the
goat. This isolated incident does not present a risk to public health as
the goat and its herd did not enter the food and feed chain.

BSE has never been found under natural circumstances in ruminants other
than cattle. Its presence in goats or other ruminants has been viewed as
theoretically possible but has never been detected. Nevertheless, for
many years safety measures have been applied in respect of all farmed
ruminants (cattle, goats, sheep) to offer maximum public health
protection. These safety measures include the prohibition on feeding
animal proteins in the form of meat-and-bone meal, the removal of
specified risk materials (ie. the removal of tissues such as brain,
spinal cord, part of the intestines) from the food and feed chain, the
slaughtering of herds affected by scrapie (a disease of goats and sheep
similar to BSE but not infectious for humans), and a TSE
surveillance/monitoring programme in all Member States.

This goat was detected as part of the EU wide surveillance programme
designed to detect suspicious TSE strains in small ruminants. Over
140,000 goats have been tested since April 2002.

Arising from this EU testing programme, a healthy goat slaughtered in
2002 in France was tested at random for TSEs. Based on the initial
positive finding of a TSE which differed from the normal scrapie
strains, further scientific study has been carried out on the suspect
brain (the necessary assays take two years) leading to the conclusion by
French experts that they believe the brain could be BSE-positive. If
confirmed, this would be the first ever such finding in a goat. This
goat was the only animal in the flock affected. All goats in the flock,
including the affected one, were destroyed and tests on all 300 adults
in the flock were negative for all TSEs. Thus, arising from the
application of EU law, no product from this herd reached the
human/animal food chain, thereby avoiding any risk to public health.

An expert panel co-ordinated by the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL)
for TSEs in Weybridge will now examine the data from the research
project and will advise the Commission on the significance of the
findings and the need for any further work.

The Commission is also sending the French research data to the European
Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for its consideration. Once the CRL experts
report, this will also be sent to EFSA. Based on the outcome of the CRL
analysis, the Commission will ask EFSA for any necessary updates in its
scientific risk assessment in respect of goats.

Pending receipt of the CRLs expert opinion and any follow-up EFSA
opinion, the Commission is not immediately proposing any further risk
management measures beyond the extensive legislation already in force.

The Commission, as well as keeping in close contact with the French
authorities, is keeping the medical and veterinary authorities of the
Member States updated.


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