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From: TSS (pool144-69.dial-u1.hou.wt.net)
Subject: MINUTES OF THE OPEN BOARD MEETING, 9 DECEMBER 2004, CONGRESS CENTRE, LONDON
Date: February 7, 2005 at 7:19 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: MINUTES OF THE OPEN BOARD MEETING, 9 DECEMBER 2004, CONGRESS CENTRE, LONDON
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 10:09:17 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@LISTSERV.KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


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

FSA 05/02/01 AGENDA ITEM 1, 9 FEBRUARY 2005
MINUTES OF THE OPEN BOARD MEETING, 9 DECEMBER 2004, CONGRESS
CENTRE, LONDON
Executive Summary
1. Draft minutes of the open Board meeting held on 9 December 2004 at the
Congress Centre, London are attached.
2. The Board is asked to confirm that the minutes are a true and
accurate record of
the meeting.
Board Secretariat
Contact: Keith Gregory Tel: 020 7276 8612 (GTN 276 8612)
Email: keith.a.gregory@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
Barbara Gallani Tel: 020 7276 8243 (GTN 276 8243)
Email: barbara.gallani@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
DRAFT
2
MINUTES OF THE OPEN BOARD MEETING, 9 DECEMBER 2004, CONGRESS
CENTRE, LONDON
OPEN SESSION, 9:30  12:40
Present: Sir John Krebs, Chairman
Julia Unwin, Deputy Chair
Richard Ayre
Sati Ariyanayagam
Chrissie Dunn
Maureen Edmondson
Michael Gibson
Ann Hemingway
Valerie Howarth
Iain MacDonald
Andrew Miller
Vernon Sankey
Sandra Walbran
Nelisha Wickremasinghe
Officials attending:
Jon Bell  Chief Executive
Chris Lawson  Chief Executive (MHS) (items 4, 5 and 7 only)
Peter Hewson  Deputy Veterinary Director (item 4 only)
David Carruthers  Head of Over Thirty Months (OTM) Branch (item 5
only)
Alan Harvey  Head of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
(TSE) Division (item 6 only)
Keith Gregory  Board Secretary
Barbara Gallani  Board Secretariat
Others attending:
Patrick Wall  University College Dublin and Chair of the Steering
Group asked to oversee the Independent Inquiry into the failure
of the Meat Hygiene Service to test casualty cattle for BSE
(items 4 and 5 only)
DRAFT
3
Chairmans Introduction
1. The Chairman reminded Board members of their obligation to declare
interests
before discussion of relevant items.
2. There was one item raised for discussion under Any Other Business:
∑ Update on delivering the Agencys Research Strategy  Information Paper
INFO 04/12/01 (Michael Gibson).
Item 1 - Minutes of the Meeting on 14 October, Belfast
(Paper FSA 04/12/01)
3. The Board agreed the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 October at the
Hilton
Hotel, Belfast as an accurate record.
4. In considering matters arising and the table of follow up action, the
following
issues were raised:
∑ One Board member asked why the action arising from paragraph 8 of the
minutes had not been recorded formally in the table of follow up action. The
Chairman, noting this to be the case, confirmed that the evaluation of the
impact of the FSA's salt campaign in raising awareness was shortly to be
circulated to all Board members1.
Action:Secretariat
∑ Index 91, p.18: The Chairman informed Board members that the final report
on research on M.bovis in tissues from animals with localised disease had
been completed. An information paper addressing the implications of this
report for meat safety would be circulated to the Board before the end of
December 2004 and would be published on the FSAs website.
1 this was circulated to Board members on 10 December 2004
DRAFT
4
Item 2 - Chairmans Report
Hampton Review
5. The Chairman reminded Board members that Philip Hampton had been invited
by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to lead a review to consider the
scope for
promoting more efficient approaches to regulatory inspection and enforcement
while continuing to deliver excellent regulatory outcomes. In its
interim report,
published on 2 December 20042, the Hampton review team had not made any
recommendations but had set out some areas to be developed before the
publication of the final report (simultaneously with the 2005 Budget),
and some
proposals for public consultation. The proposals of most interest to the FSA
include the possibility of consolidation of regulatory functions in
government and
suggestions that the FSAs remit be extended to include aspects of
medicines,
drinking water and pesticides. The Chairman asked Board members whether
they wanted to propose any criteria in addition to those already
suggested by
others3. Board members would have a further opportunity to discuss and
develop
these criteria before the final response to the consultation was
formulated and
submitted in time to meet the review teams deadline of 4 February 2005.
6. Board members agreed that any criteria should reflect the ability of
the FSA to
maintain its role in ensuring consumer protection, meeting consumers
needs and
maintaining coherence of its mission. At present this remit covered
areas where
there was a direct consumer interest and products were sold directly to
consumers.
7. Board members also recognised the very tight time-scale for replies
to the interim
report consultation and recommended that the FSA used appropriate
opportunities for consulting stakeholders before replying formally to the
consultation.
8. The Chairman invited Board members to propose additional criteria for
consideration at the next Board meeting in January 2005 and invited the
2 Reducing administrative burdens: effective inspection and enforcement
3 Circulated to Board members on 3 December 2004, the following criteria
have been proposed by which the
appropriateness of various consolidations might be judged: whether there
is the potential to reduce conflicts or
tensions between different regulatory regimes; whether there are gains
in process efficiency; and whether
consolidation delivers better service of the relevant regulatory
functions, which in our case would be food safety
and consumer protection.
DRAFT
5
Executive to consider the possibility, within the very limited time
available, of
taking the views of stakeholders on this issue.
Action: Board members to submit proposals to the Secretariat
FSA commitment to sustainable development
9. The Chairman invited Nelisha Wickremasinghe to report on the workshop on
sustainability that had been held on 23 November 2004. Nelisha
Wickremasinghe
reported that four Board members had met with senior FSA officials and five
members from the FSAs Think Tank to progress discussion of the FSAs remit
for sustainable development. There had been a lively debate on the role of
sustainability issues in FSA decision making. Development would continue in
terms of providing guidance to officials on how to undertake sustainability
assessments, and how the information generated by the assessments would be
used. The workshop had concluded that a strong lead was needed. Other Board
members who had attended the workshop had been impressed by the quality of
the presentations that had been given the members of the FSAs Think
Tank and
by their enthusiasm.
Item 3 - Chief Executives Report
Atypical Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (ADSP) test results
10. The Chief Executive reminded Board members that they had received
the last
report on ADSP issues in May 2004. Since then, the FSA had been working with
industry and leading experts in the field, such as Professor Yasumoto (the
Japanese world expert on shellfish toxins) and Dr Quilliam (Institute of
Marine
Biosciences, Canada) to try to understand the problem better. The
stakeholder
forum established in the autumn met twice, and had generated some very
useful
suggestions. A standard testing protocol had been established throughout
the UK
in November 2003 and had been independently audited to ensure compliance.
The toxicological work was proceeding, but had been hampered by the lack of
positive material, given the relatively low recent prevalence of
atypical responses.
11. The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products
and the
Environment (COT) had concluded that the data it had so far considered were
suggestive of a neurotoxic mechanism but were not conclusive. The
findings of
several recent in vitro studies were being evaluated but had also
appeared to be
DRAFT
6
inconclusive. Dr Quilliam had agreed to screen material for a much wider
range
of known toxins than was possible using standard material available in
the UK. In
the meantime, EU discussions were continuing with the aim of establishing a
suitable chemical test replacement for the gold standard mouse test.
12. Board members acknowledged that although unlikely, the knowledge
available to
date still did not allow a conclusion to be reached as to whether the
atypical
results were caused by an artefact of the testing method or the presence
of a
toxin. They agreed therefore that the current precautionary approach
remained
appropriate. Board members welcomed the research that was being done on
replacement tests for the toxins that were already known.
13. Some Board members asked whether there were any shellfish bed
restrictions
currently in place as a result of this unknown toxin. The Chief
Executive informed
Board members that, because of the absence of positive results, no
restrictions
were currently in place due to ADSP.
14. The Chief Executive assured Board members that the FSA would
continue to do
all he could to resolve the matter conclusively.
Animal by-products investigation
15. The Chief Executive updated Board members on the outcome of the
investigations into the potential misuse of category 3 animal by-products4
reported at the October 2004 open Board meeting. At that time it was
known that
a Scottish company, Alba Proteins, had been involved in the supply of
byproducts
in the form of animal fats for use as human food. Much of the animal
fats had been recovered and disposed of under Local Authority supervision.
16. The investigation into the possibility that 13 outlets had also
received category 3
pig intestines from Alba Proteins (not sheep intestines as reported at
the October
meeting) had shown no evidence of any improper receipt or use of these
materials. However, the investigation of a company in the South West of
England
had shown that animal by-product handling and food processing had not been
adequately segregated. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs
(Defra), which is responsible for animal by-products plant licensing, was
investigating. Investigations made at the FSAs request by local
authorities (LAs)
4 Low risk animal by-products not intended for human consumption
DRAFT
7
at all renderers and sausage casing manufacturers had not found evidence of
any further problems.
17. Following a meeting with stakeholders, the industry had agreed to
prepare a
Code of Practice on other products of animal origin and the FSA would
consider
whether there was a need to issue further guidance to enforcers or to
tighten the
legal controls in this area.
18. Board members welcomed the outcome of the investigations and
stressed the
importance of the FSA keeping a watching brief on the situation.
FSA Strategic Plan 2005-10
19. The Chief Executive informed Board members that FSAs Strategic Plan for
2005-10 had now been published on the FSAs website. Printed copies of the
Plan would be available at the beginning of 2005.
Item 4 - Wall Review of Casualty testing Failures: Next Steps
(Paper FSA 04/12/02)
[Prior to the discussion of this item Michael Gibson declared an
interest as a primary
producer and butcher and Chrissie Dunn declared an interest as a
non-Executive
Director of a meat marketing company. The Chairman considered that these
were
not material interests and that Michael Gibson and Chrissie Dunn should
participate
in the discussion and determination of this issue.]
20. The Chairman welcomed Professor Patrick Wall (University College
Dublin5),
Chris Lawson (Chief Executive of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS)) and Peter
Hewson (Deputy Veterinary Director), to the table and invited Peter
Hewson to
introduce this paper.
21. Peter Hewson reminded Board members that the Inquiry into the
failure by the
MHS to test an estimated 229 casualty cattle aged between 24-30 months for
BSE had been initiated by the FSA Board in June 2004. This followed MHS
internal audits and management checks that had uncovered these failures. The
paper presented for discussion asked Board members to note the actions taken
5 and Chair of the Steering Group asked by the FSA Board to oversee the
Independent Inquiry into the failure to
comply with the requirements to test all relevant 24-30 month old
casualty animals for BSE
DRAFT
8
and to agree the further actions planned to address the recommendations made
in the Independent Inquirys report6. The plans had been developed with the
advice of Patrick Walls Steering Group. Further progress would be
reported to
the MHS Governing Board.
22. The Chairman invited Patrick Wall to comment on the actions taken
and the
actions planned following the reports recommendations.
23. Patrick Wall apologised for not being present at the Board meeting
in Belfast to
present his report and noted that many of the MHS faults that had been
identified
by the report had already been highlighted by the MHS and that plans for
change
had been put in place. The problems identified in the report were
similar to many
issues faced by big organisations and included accountability issues,
monitoring,
and supervision and training of staff. Additional issues raised by the
report
included communications between MHS, FSA and Defra and the need for
effective plans to be put in place to improve working relationships
across the
organisations involved.
24. Board members agreed in general terms with the proposed action plan
and were
content that Patrick Walls group had advised on the plan in draft. Some
Board
members were sceptical of the need to use consultants to address
recommendation 4 but were assured this was a targeted exercise, not a
root and
branch review of the MHS and that experienced consultants could help in
progressing the necessary improvements more rapidly. One Board member
suggested there was a need to recognise and address the need for both
supervision and line management when trying to assist Official Veterinary
Surgeons (OVSs) in their work and to reduce their isolation.
25. Board members were supportive of the work conducted by Patrick
Walls group
and appreciative of the efforts that had been made to deliver improvements.
However, they sought clarity of the roles and responsibilities of the
MHS, the FSA
and Defra in carrying out regulation and enforcement. Although they
recognised
the challenges of managing a complex and diffuse organisation such as the
MHS, they indicated that they would welcome clearer lines of accountability.
Action: Alick Simmons
6 Inquiry into the failure to comply with the requirements to test all
relevant 24-30 month old casualty animals
for BSE
DRAFT
9
26. Referring to recommendations 12 and 13, one Board member stressed the
importance of recognising the differences between plants in terms of
both staffing
and the standards of facilities. He also indicated that he would welcome
temporary arrangements to allow those with poor facilities to carry out the
necessary improvements.
27. One Board member recommended clarity in ownership of the progress on the
action plan and asked that the planned reports to the FSA Board be given
by the
Chief Executive of the MHS. The Chair of the MHS Governing Board indicated
that it was her intention that the Chief Executive of the MHS should
always be
invited to the table during the presentation of her reports on these
issues, and
agreed that the Chief Executive of the MHS needed to account directly to the
FSA Board for the implementation of the Action Plan.
28. In summary the Chairman noted that the Board had:
∑ recognised that the failures to conduct the required surveillance had been
serious, but had not compromised public safety;
∑ acknowledged the need to clarify the lines of accountability and
responsibility
and to define better the roles and interactions between the MHS, the FSA and
Defra;
∑ raised issues of detail regarding the action plan, which would need to be
addressed by the MHS, including training and development of OVSs;
∑ noted that the situation in Northern Ireland would need to be
addressed in the
same way as the rest of the UK, whilst taking into account the
differences in
responsibilities for enforcement in licensed meat premises; and
∑ noted that implementation of the recommendations would present a challenge
for the MHS and the target dates for these changes would need to be kept
under review.
Item 5 - Review of Over Thirty Month Rule, Progress Report on Assessment of
Robustness of the Proposed BSE Testing Regime
(Paper FSA 04/12/03)
[Prior to the discussion of this item Michael Gibson declared an
interest as a primary
producer and butcher. The Chairman considered that this was a material
interest
and that Michael Gibson should not participate in the discussion and
determination
of this issue. Michael Gibson left the table for this item. Chrissie
Dunn declared an
DRAFT
10
interest as a non-Executive Director of a meat marketing company. The
Chairman
considered that this was not a material interest and that Chrissie Dunn
should
participate in the discussion and determination of this issue.]
29. The Chairman invited David Carruthers, Head of Over Thirty Months (OTM)
Branch, to the table to join Professor Patrick Wall and the Chief
Executive of the
MHS and to introduce this paper.
30. David Carruthers reminded Board members that the Government had recently
announced the start of a managed transition towards the lifting of the
over thirty
months (OTM) rule and its replacement with a robust system of BSE testing.
That announcement, made on 1 December, had made clear that the final switch
from the OTM rule to testing should happen only when the FSA had advised
Ministers that the BSE testing system would be robust. Ministers had
agreed that
the FSA should have a new ongoing responsibility for the review and
audit of the
testing system as a whole. The FSA would also be responsible for
consulting on
draft legislation to replace the OTM rule.
31. In September 2004, Board members had agreed that an independent group,
drawn from the group investigating the casualty testing failures, should
be set up
to assist the FSA in providing advice on the robustness of the proposed BSE
testing system. The independent groups membership had been expanded to
include two additional experts: Professor Peter Lind (a member of the
European
Food Safety Authoritys Scientific Expert Group on TSE Testing) had
joined as an
expert on testing in Europe and Dr Geoff Spriegel (until recently Technical
Director of Sainsburys Supermarkets) had joined as an expert on quality
control.
32. Following the Boards discussions in September, stakeholder
involvement in the
process had been re-established and a successful stakeholder meeting had
been
held on 6 December 2004 at which no organisation had reacted unfavourably to
the decision to move towards rule change. The meeting had also provided an
opportunity for Professor Patrick Wall and other members of his team to make
clear, in front of stakeholders, that they would be independent,
rigorous and that
consumers interest would come first. Also, the FSAs Consumer Committee had
considered this issue at its meeting on 16 September and had asked that full
scale trials of the testing system be carried out.
DRAFT
11
33. The Chairman invited Professor Patrick Wall to present the initial
report of the
independent group (Annex C to the paper). Professor Wall noted that the
aim of
the group had been to design a system and monitoring programme and that they
had been looking at systems already in place in several European
Countries. The
group would be considering only those issues related to the
establishment of a
robust testing regime. They would not be responsible for other
considerations,
such as value for money and risk assessment. Professor Wall also
stressed the
importance of 100% compliance and of learning from the experiences of other
countries in the initial establishment of similar testing regimes.
34. The Chairman asked about the scale of the trials required to
demonstrate the
robustness of the new testing regime. The initial trials, which would be
equivalent
to several days production runs at full capacity, would be followed by
specific
trials at premises that had shown an interest in switching to the new
regime.
Training of staff to comply with the new testing system would also be
required.
35. Board members agreed that aiming for 100% compliance with the new
testing
regime would not be negotiable but accepted that human error would occur and
needed to be recognised. They also agreed that a system should be put in
place
to identify, and immediately address, the occurrence of such failures.
36. Some Board members asked about the reported difficulties in
recruiting a DH
nominee to the group. The Chief Executive informed Board members that there
had been practical problems in recruiting suitably qualified members, as the
experts proposed by DH were already fully engaged on other issues, but
additional experts were now being sought and would join the group.
37. Professor Wall agreed with the comments made by some Board members that
the current instructions would need to be reviewed following trials and
possibly
would need to be less prescriptive to allow room for professional judgement
depending on different environmental conditions.
38. Some Board members requested a short note on the experiences of other
member states in introducing BSE testing.
Action: David Carruthers
39. Some Board members asked about funding arrangements for the new testing
system. The FSA Chief Executive confirmed that the Chief Executive of
the MHS
DRAFT
12
would be responsible for identifying additional MHS requirements in
Great Britain.
It would be the responsibility of the FSA Chief Executive himself to
ensure that
adequate funding to meet these additional requirements was negotiated with
Defra. In Northern Ireland, funding would need to be negotiated with the
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
40. The Chairman summarised the main points raised in the discussion.
The Board
had:
∑ approved the initial report of the independent group, with this now
leading to a
full trial of the testing systems (rather than, as the Board paper
implied, this
initial approval being subject to a full trial);
∑ noted that the work of the independent group chaired by Professor Wall
constituted the initial step in the process of establishing a robust testing
system;
∑ agreed that aiming for 100% compliance of the new testing regime would not
be negotiable, but accepted that human error would occur and there was a
need to put in place effective controls to identify and address such
errors and
to communicate risks to consumers;
∑ recognised the difficulty of complying with the current timetable and
agreed to
review it if necessary; and
∑ asked for a short note on the experiences of other member states in
introducing BSE testing.
Item 6 - BSE and Sheep Contingency Policy
(Paper FSA 04/12/04)
[Prior to the discussion of this item Michael Gibson declared an
interest as a primary
producer and butcher and Chrissie Dunn declared an interest as a
non-Executive
Director of a meat marketing company. The Chairman considered that these
were
not material interests and that Michael Gibson and Chrissie Dunn should
participate
in the discussion and determination of this issue.]
41. The Chairman invited Alan Harvey, Head of Transmissible Spongiform
Encephalopathies (TSE) Division, to introduce the paper. Alan Harvey
noted that
the Board had last looked at the position on BSE and sheep in June 2002,
following consideration by a core stakeholder group, together with
scientific
experts. The purpose of this paper was to provide an update on what had been
DRAFT
13
happening since then and to consider the current FSA policy in the light
of that
information. Board members were reminded that there were still no
findings of
naturally occurring BSE in sheep in the UK. However, the possibility of
a small
self-sustaining BSE epidemic in a few flocks could not be ruled out as a
hypothesis.
42. Some progress had been made on the science and the position on
testing had
been set out in Annex A of the paper. The Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory
Committee (SEAC) had recently concluded that the test to discriminate
between
BSE and scrapie, which was not thought to be transmissible to humans,
was now
more robust. The effects of controls were very different in sheep than
in cattle:
whereas with cattle, the removal of specified risk material (SRM) took
away over
99% of infectivity in any animal incubating BSE, the position for SRM
removal in
sheep was much less straightforward, to such an extent that any BSE infected
sheep would represent a far higher infectious load going into the food
chain,
perhaps by a factor of over a thousand times, than a bovine equivalent.
43. Investigations were currently underway in relation to the
possibility that a French
goat may have BSE.
44. The UK was not alone in scoping the question of contingency planning
in case
BSE were to be found in sheep and goats: the EU was actively engaged
with this.
The European Commission would expect a harmonised approach to be followed
in the event of a positive finding in any member state.
45. The policy agreed by the Board in 2002 was that, in the event of a
BSE finding in
sheep, only resistant and semi-resistant sheep under 12 months would be
allowed to enter the food chain. In the absence of practical means to
identify such
sheep, this would, in practice amount to the loss of an entire years
lamb crop.
Paragraph 31 of the paper referred to Defras plans to permit progressive
restocking after any such loss using only fully resistant rams. The paper
proposed that, for the time being, the present policy should remain in
place,
subject to any overarching EU measures being introduced. It also proposed to
continue discussions on proportionality with stakeholders and then
return to the
Board in the autumn of 2005.
46. The Chairman noted that the Board had been briefed in November 2004
by the
Chair of SEAC on the current situation with regard to BSE and sheep and BSE
DRAFT
14
and goats. The present discussion was aimed at agreeing a contingency
plan in
the light of reduced uncertainties. The FSA did not currently advise
consumers to
avoid any product from sheep or goats and he explained that this had not
changed.
47. Board members noted (Annex D to the paper) that SEAC had stressed
that the
risk of finding BSE in sheep was very low and that, since the Board last
consideration of the issue in 2002, more sheep had been tested and no BSE
cases had been found. However, the dose of potentially infected material
in a
single sheep, and therefore the potential transmission from sheep to humans,
would be much higher than from cattle to humans. Further, the degree of
resistance of genetically resistant and semi-resistant animals was not
clear.
48. Some Board members questioned whether further work was needed on
testing of
goats. An EU working group had been set up to consider the possible
extension
of specified risk material rules to goats and to increase the level of
testing. Risk
management issues would be discussed at EU level should BSE be confirmed in
the atypical case French goat.
49. Most Board members agreed with the proposal to review the current
position in
the autumn of 2005 but stressed the importance of timely notification of
abnormal
results and scientific advances in order to be able to review the
situation promptly
in the interim if required.
50. Board members agreed with the importance of involving stakeholders
in the
development of contingency plans for sheep and in clarifying the need
for parallel
contingency plans for goats.
51. One Board member expressed concern that a tracking system similar to
cattle
had not yet been developed for sheep. It was agreed that this concern
would be
forwarded to Defra.
Action: Alan Harvey
52. The Chairman summarised the main points raised in the discussion.
The Board
had:
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15
∑ noted that the discussion had addressed a possible risk since there was no
indication of BSE occurring spontaneously in any UK sheep or goat;
∑ noted that the discussion had not lead to any change in the current FSA
advice for consumers with regards to the consumption of sheep and goat
produce;
∑ agreed the present contingency policy subject to any overarching EU
measures being introduced;
∑ stressed the importance of consumer protection and proportionality in
any risk
management measure;
∑ noted the need for distinct approaches for sheep and for goat;
∑ agreed with the need for further discussion on proportionality with
stakeholders, including industry and consumer groups; and
∑ agreed with the need of a prompt review of the FSA contingency plans
in the
light of any new research results.
Item 7 - Report from the Chair of the MHS Governing Board
(Paper FSA 04/12/05)
53. The Chairman welcomed Chrissie Dunn, Chair of the MHS Governing
Board, and
Chris Lawson to the table and invited Chrissie Dunn to report on the
progress of
the establishment of the MHS Governing Board and on its first meeting in
November 2004.
54. The Chair of the MHS Governing Board thanked Valerie Howarth for having
agreed to be Deputy Chair of the MHS Governing Board and Maureen
Edmondson and Richard Ayre for accepting the additional commitment and
responsibility of becoming members of the MHS Governing Board. She also
noted that the representation provided by Jon Bell (FSA Chief Executive) and
Alick Simmons (FSA Veterinary Director) added considerably to the value
of the
discussions at meetings. Advertisements to recruit external members would be
published at the beginning of January 2005.
55. The Chair of the MHS Governing Board had completed a number of visits to
licensed meat plants and MHS offices across the UK. She had gained a better
understanding of the MHS and of the meat industry as a result, and
encouraged
other Board members to do the same.
DRAFT
16
56. The existing MHS Audit and Risk Committee arrangements had been
clarified
and the Chair of the MHS Governing Board emphasised that she was totally
satisfied with them.
57. One Board member noted that the minutes of the last meeting of the Meat
Hygiene Advisory Committee (MHAC) had not been circulated and approved and
asked that this be done before the next meeting of the MHS Governing Board.
Action: Vanessa Charles
58. The Chairman thanked the Chair of the MHS Governing Board and the
other FSA
Board members on the MHS Governing Board for taking on their roles.
Item 8 - Reports from Chairs of Advisory Committees
(Papers FSA 04/09/06, FSA 04/09/07 and FSA 04/09/08)
Wales
59. The report from the Chair of the Welsh Food Advisory Committee
(WFAC) was
accepted.
Scotland
60. The Chair of the Advisory Committee for Scotland (SFAC) informed Board
members that SFAC had reviewed of its past performance at a recent
retreat and
had also discussed the new FSA Strategic Plan. He added that the names of
suitable candidates for the current SFAC vacancies had been submitted to
Ministers and that announcements were expected in the near future. Due
to the
large number of new members, SFAC had planned a mentoring programme.
Northern Ireland
61. The Chair of the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee (NIFAC)7
informed
Board members that four members would retire in July 2005 and advertisements
for these vacancies would be published in early January 2005.
7 Formerly known as the Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland (NIAC).
DRAFT
17
Item 9 - White Paper on Public Health: Choosing Health and the FSAs
Strategic Plan 2005/10
(Paper FSA 04/12/09)
62. The Chairman invited Board members to comment on the paper tabled at the
meeting, which outlined the areas of the recently published White Paper on
Public Health that are of particular interest to the FSA.
63. Board members agreed that it would have been useful to compare the
recommendations made by the FSA on initiatives such as childrens diets and
nutrition, with the issues that had been included in the White Paper.
This would
have provided a measure of the FSAs influence in these areas.
64. Most Board members agreed that the White Paper indicated a general
intention
to improve cross-government relationships and showed that many of the ideas
developed by the FSA and other interested organisations had been
successfully
incorporated into government policy.
Any Other Business
65. There was one item of other business:
Update on delivering the Agencys Research Strategy (Michael Gibson)
(paper INFO 04/12/01)
66. Michael Gibson asked for a more detailed paper on the FSA Research
Strategy
to address in particular the decision mechanisms and the setting of
priorities for
research. The Chief Executive informed Board members that the present
information paper had been intended as an interim report to be followed,
in the
second half of 2005, by another paper addressing the alignment of the
portfolio
with the new Strategic Plan and prioritisation of research.
Date of Next meeting
67. The next open meeting would be held on 9 February in London.
DRAFT
18
DRAFT
Summary of Actions Arising
Index Action Due date Progress to date
9Dec04/O/245 Provide a note describing lines of
accountability and definitions of roles
of the MHS, the FSA and Defra.
(Para 25).
March 05 Linked to MHS priorities exercise
recommended by Wall. Paper to
be developed in conjunction with
Defra.
9Dec04/O/246 Provide a short note on the
experiences of other member states
in introducing BSE testing. (Para 38)
Feb 05 Information note in preparation.
Actions from Previous Meetings
Index Action Due date Progress to date
13Feb03/O/166 Further discussion paper to revisit
HACCP strategy and, if necessary,
re-examine licensing and prior
approval issues in light of the work
on the thirty percent target.
(Para 35)
March 05 The March 2004 Board Paper on
food safety management stated
that the 30% target had been
met. A further discussion paper
on food safety management,
which will incorporate prior
approval and licensing, is now
scheduled for March 05.
11Mar04/O/213 Report back when piloting regional
support centres has been completed.
(Para 40)
March 05 Service Level Agreements now
in place; projects underway.
11Mar04/O/214 Report on the action plan to
implement food safety management
based on HACCP principles, with
oral updates as necessary.
(Para 40)
March 05 A Project Board was formed; the
projects included in the Action
Plan agreed by the Board are
underway.
9Sept04/O/235 Ensure that training aspects are
addressed in the paper on food
safety management based on
HACCP principles, to be presented to
the Board in the first half of 2005.
(Para 46)
March 05 Officials are consulting the
Sector Skills Council.
DRAFT
19
Completed Actions
Index Action
12Dec01/O/91 Report back to the Board on Agency research on M. Bovis in
tissues from animals
with localised disease. (Para 35) An information paper was sent to Board
members
on 7 January 05.
13May04/O/219 Provide copies of the final report of the FVO Mission on
food hygiene on request.
(Para 19) Board members can obtain a copy of the report from the
Secretariat.
13May04/O/220 Inform LAs of the positive feedback from the FVO Mission
on food hygiene. (Para 20)
LAs have been informed that the FVO Mission report is available on the
DG SANCO
website.
9Dec04/O/243 Circulate to Board members the evaluation of the impact of
the FSA's salt campaign
in raising awareness. (Para 4) Document circulated on Fri 10 December 04.
9Dec04/O/244 Invite Board members to propose additional criteria, to be
included in the response to
the Hampton interim report, for consideration at the Board meeting on
12/13 January 05. (Para 8) Letter sent to Board members on 7 January 05.
9Dec04/O/247 Forward to Defra the concern of a Board member on the lack
of a tracking system,
similar to cattle, for sheep. (Para 51) Following communication with
Defra, a leaflet on
sheep traceability and an information note were circulated to Board
members on
14 January 05.
9Dec04/O/248 Circulate the minutes of the last meeting of MHAC. (Para
57) Draft minutes were
circulated to MHAC members on 2 February 05.

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsa050201.pdf

http://www.food.gov.uk/aboutus/ourboard/boardmeetings/boardmeetings2005/boardmeeting09022005/boardagenda090205

> The effects of controls were very different in sheep than in cattle:
> whereas with cattle, the removal of specified risk material (SRM) took
> away over
> 99% of infectivity in any animal incubating BSE, the position for SRM
> removal in
> sheep was much less straightforward, to such an extent that any BSE
> infected
> sheep would represent a far higher infectious load going into the food
> chain,
> perhaps by a factor of over a thousand times, than a bovine equivalent.


THIS statement seems to be very misleading.
IF you consider the recent findings of BASE and the recent
findings of the atypical TSE in CATTLE in JAPAN AND BELGIUM,
the distribution of infectivity in different tissues and organs HAS
SHOWN INFECTIVITY IN TISSUES AND ORGANS OTHER
THAN CNS. SO the question would be, how many of these
atypical case of TSE are in the UK bovine? THE only way to find
out would be to do 100% testing of all cattle, sheep, goat, deer
and elk that go for human and animal consumption.

WITH the findings of BSE in French GOAT, Atypical TSEs in
Belguim cow, Atypical TSEs in Japan # 8 and # 9 cow,
atypical TSEs in USA cattle via Marsh, and atypical TSE in
Vermont sheep, with other atypical TSEs in other species around
the globe, to continue the BSE/nvCJD only theory should be regarded
with great suspicion and great risk to human/animal health...

TSS

######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ##########






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