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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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International Activities - Workshops in The Netherlands, El Salvador; European Veterinarians Visit CVM

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter September/October 2003 Volume XVIII, No 5

CVM Official Participates in Risk Assessment Workshop in The Netherlands

Dr. Linda Tollefson, Deputy Director, CVM, was in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, on September 1-5, 2003, as an invited participant in the European Workshop on the Interface Between Risk Assessment and Risk Management.

The Central Science Laboratory of the UK was the lead organizer of this meeting, at the request of the European Commission Quality of Life Programme, Key Action 1 on Food, Nutrition and Health. The purpose was to identify obstacles to the appropriate interaction of risk assessment and risk management in decision-making in the European Union and to recommend ways of improving the interface between risk assessment and risk management, including novel scientific approaches and the research required to develop them. This Workshop is one of several European Commission sponsored activities known as “strategic accompanying measures”, which are intended to support the implementation of relevant policy orientations.

CVM Scientists Participate in Workshops in El Salvador

Four CVM scientists traveled to San Salvador, El Salvador, from July 21 to 23, 2003, and to Buenos Aires, Argentina from August 7 to 19 to participate in workshops entitled Enhancing the Participation and Effectiveness of Latin American Countries in the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food (CCRVDF). The workshops were partially sponsored by the U.S. Codex Office.

The CVM team of scientists represented expertise in both human food safety and veterinary drugs residue control and presented, coordinated, and ran the workshops. Dr. Richard Ellis is a Senior Regulatory Scientist in the Division of Human Food Safety of CVM and he has presented residue chemistry lectures for the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO/WHO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Dr. Ellis facilitated the workgroup activities at the workshops and was the principal initiator who organized the workshops in collaboration with the U.S. Codex Office.

Dr. Ana Fernández is a senior toxicologist/microbiologist of the Division of Human Food Safety of CVM, and she has served as an Expert Advisor on the Food Safety Working Group for Veterinary International Conference on Harmonization (VICH) for toxicology assessments. Dr. Fernández has more than 10 years experience in developing human food safety programs in Latin America. Dr. Fernández was co-organizer of the workshops and presented lectures on JECFA and CVM toxicology assessment procedures. Dr. Fernández also acted as an interpreter and facilitator for the workgroup activities.

Dr. Louis Mulligan is the Supervisory Team Leader of Toxicology for the Division of Human Food Safety of CVM. Dr. Mulligan has served as Chairman of the VICH Safety Working Group for international toxicology assessment procedures, and he has participated as a toxicology expert for JECFA and has more than 38 years experience in regulatory toxicology studies with research laboratories and FDA. At the workshop, Dr. Mulligan also lectured on VICH toxicology assessment and JECFA toxicology assessment procedures.

Dr. Lynn Friedlander is the Team Leader of the Residue Chemistry Team of the Division of Human Food Safety of CVM with extensive experience in pharmacology and metabolism. Dr. Friedlander has been a member of the CCRVDF U.S. Delegation and a JECFA participant. She lectured on JECFA food safety procedures with particular expertise in residue chemistry for the workshops.

With a combined number of approximately 100, the attendees included representatives from regulatory authorities responsible for food safety and food export in their countries. The workshops were of significant importance to the Central American and Southern Cone regions of Latin America, and were designed to provide additional understanding of the scientific principles underlying the work of JECFA, the Codex Alimentarius, and the regulatory processes for food safety in the United States.

The workshops also gave CVM a unique opportunity to build improved relationships between its Central American and South American trading partners and to further the networking and communication on issues of mutual concern that arise from CVM’s work in the Codex Alimentarius, the WHO, and the FAO, including the JECFA and CCRVDF.

European Veterinarians Visit CVM

A group of governmental officials responsible for the regulation of veterinary products in several Eastern European countries visited CVM on September 4, 2003. The visitors were part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored program called the Cochran Fellowship Program that provides funding for training of agriculturists from middle income and newly emerging countries who are involved in agricultural trade, agribusiness development, and related policy and management.

Dr. Mike McWhorter, the USDA’s International Training Coordinator from Texas A & M University, explained that “this two-week training program is designed to be an informative and rewarding experience for our international cohorts.” Approximately 25 veterinarians participated from Eastern European countries, as well as Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Slovak Republic.

Other stops for the group included visiting the APHIS National Center for Import and Export/Regionalizaiton and Evaulation Services at Riverdale, Maryland, a visit to APHIS’ Animal Disease Diagnostic Center at Plum Island, New York, and attending a scientific workshop on BSE at Fort Collins, Colorado.

CVM Director, Dr. Steve Sundlof, opened the four-hour CVM visit by welcoming the visitors, and giving a brief overview of CVM activities. CVM officials presented a number of topics, including an overview of the New Animal Drug Process, Drug Residue Safety Evaluation Activities, Pharmacovigilance Responsibilities, Transgenic Animals/Biotech Feeds Activities, Antimicrobial Resistance, and a summary of CVM’s International Activities.