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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, Geneva, Switzerland

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter March/April 2003 Volume XVIII, No 2

Several FDA/CVM scientists participated in the 60th Meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) held in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6-12, 2003. JECFA was convened to evaluate certain veterinary drug residues in food.

JECFA serves as a scientific advisory body to the Codex Alimentarius. The role of JECFA is to evaluate toxicology, residue chemistry and related information and make recommendations for acceptable daily intake (ADI) levels and maximum residue limits (MRLs).

At the 60th meeting, the Committee recommended new MRLs for neomycin in cattle liver, kidney and milk; for imidocarb in cattle muscle, liver, kidney, fat and milk and dicyclanil in sheep muscle, liver, kidney, and fat. In addition, the Committee recommended that the ADI for trichlorfon be lowered from 20 to 2 ug/kg bw per day. The Committee withdrew the MRLs for flumequine and carbadox based on evidence showing both are direct acting genotoxic carcinogens and, therefore the Committee was unable to establish an ADI for human exposure to residues. Previously, the Committee had recommended MRLs for carbadox based on the approach used by the U.S. FDA for its approval of carbadox. The Committee recognized that use of this approach was a risk management decision and will look to the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) for future guidance on this issue.

JECFA’s recommendations are first reviewed by the CCRVDF which in turn makes recommendations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission on the advancement and adoption of MRLs as international Codex standards. JECFA is regarded as a risk assessment body while CCRVDF makes risk management decisions on the recommendations it receives from JECFA.

Drs. Pamela Chamberlain, Richard Ellis, Lynn Friedlander, and Kevin Greenlees from CVM attended as working members of the Committee. Dr. Sundlof attended as an observer in his capacity as Chair of the CCRVDF. The summary of the conclusions reached by the Committee on compound evaluations and other matters considered is available on the internet.

Dr. Chamberlain is a Team Leader in CVM’s Division of Epidemiology.