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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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by William D. Price, Ph.D.
FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2002 Volume XVI, No V

Dr. James Maryanski of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is the leader of the U.S. delegation attending a recent meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Task Force for the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds. Dr. W. D. Price of CVM's Office of Surveillance and Compliance has been the primary U.S. person developing the compositional consensus documents. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the U.S. Mission to OECD, also has representatives who are involved with the task force meetings.

The Task Force is focusing its work on the development of science based consensus documents that can be used by international bodies such as CODEX, as reference documents in developing guidance and policy for the regulation of bioengineered foods and feeds.

High on the priority of OECD are consensus documents intended to provide technical information related to compositional analyses of important nutrients, toxicants, and other components of plants to aid in safety assessment. Four documents have been completed and declassified, one of which, soybean was authored by the U.S. At a recent meeting, the Task Force reviewed several draft Consensus Documents and set dates for submission of country comments, including documents on maize, sunflower, cotton, and forage legumes. The U.S. is co-authoring the maize document with the Netherlands, and authoring the cotton document. The U.S. will also be collaborating on three new documents.

The Task Force completed plans for a pilot workshop on safety assessment to be held in Moscow, in mid-September, 2002. The workshop is designed to provide information on safety assessment for 30 regulatory officials from the Russian Federation and countries of the former Soviet Union. The Task Force discussed a consensus document on considerations for the safety assessment of animal feeds authored by the U.K., to which the U.S. submitted primary comments, and a revised document will be discussed at the next meeting. The U.S. requested and the OECD Secretariat agreed to prepare a brief paper for consideration at the next meeting that describes procedures for proposals for new projects and review and acceptance (or not) by the Task Force to ensure that countries have adequate opportunity to review new work.

Dr. Price is a Special Assistant in CVM's Office of Surveillance and Compliance.