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Codex News, 16 October 2016
The Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) began work in 1986 hosted by the USA. CCRVDF determines priorities for the consideration of residues of veterinary drugs in foods and recommends maximum levels (known as MLs) of such substances. The committee also develops codes of practice and considers methods of sampling and analysis for the determination of veterinary drug residues in foods.
New Chair Kevin Greenlees
The new chair of the committee, Dr Kevin Greenlees, answered a series of questions for the Codex website just before the meeting got underway in Houston Texas.
For those who will be seeing you for the first time, tell us where you work?
I work as a senior advisor for science and policy within the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, at the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The Center is located in Rockville, Maryland not far from Washington, DC. I have worked at the Center for more than 27 years, mostly in assuring safety to the human consumer of residues of veterinary drugs in food. My wife, two dogs and I, and our two children, have our homes in the city of Frederick, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) from my office.
You have long been involved in Codex but now you are chairing. What are your expectations for this new role?
Most of my time in Codex has been as the US delegate to CCRVDF. I look forward to the opportunity to move beyond national positions to helping CCRVDF work to meet global needs. I anticipate working with the committee towards consensus in addressing public health and fair practice in the international food trade as these concerns relate to the residues of veterinary drug in food.
What issues are you most looking forward to discussing at CCRVDF23?
Unlike in the past when I had a specific national position to present, in my new role as chair I am looking forward to working with the Committee across the entire agenda. We have a number of issues before us that will necessitate careful consideration and broad engagement across the committee, if we are to move forward within our terms of reference in the development of standards to protect public health.
How do you see the relationship between Codex and Observers at CCRVDF?
I believe that Observers are important to the Codex process. Observers frequently offer comment and insight from perspectives that may differ from Members, sometimes quite strongly. Alternatively they can offer insight that can lead to a broader consensus within the Committee. They also provide a window into Codex for the broader public, allowing a deeper understanding of the process as they report on the Committee’s activities.
How would you descirbe the importance of JECFA to this committee to a new delegate?
The availability of JECFA as our independent scientific risk assessment body is extraordinarily important to this Committee. All national regulatory authorities operate within the social, political, and economic domestic environments of their countries, and strive to meet the needs of their population, balancing factors that range from public health to the economy to the availability of food. JECFA offers the opportunity to provide an expert scientific assessment drawn from international experts from around the world, that is independent and entirely focused on the science and protection of public health.
What advice do you have for first time delegates?
My advice is to be familiar with the material that is under discussion, reach out and talk with your colleagues from around the globe, and participate in the discussions.
How is CCRVDF facing the challenge posed by the increase in AMR and increased public awareness of AMR?
CCRVDF has long been aware of the importance of antimicrobial resistance and created a Code of Practice on antimicrobial drug use in food producing animals more than 10 years ago to help meet that challenge. The Committee acknowledged the potential impact of antimicrobial veterinary drug use on human medicine as recently as the 22nd meeting, where the importance of recognizing the relationship of a veterinary drug to the WHO list of critically important antimicrobials was emphasized. Many CCRVDF members are participants in the Commission’s Physical Working Group on Antimicrobial Resistance and the same is anticipated for the Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.
For the CCRVDF meeting page, see: http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/meetings-reports/detail/en/?meeting=CCRVDF&session=23