Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods
Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods
(Host Government - United States)
The Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) determines priorities for the consideration of residues of veterinary drugs in foods and recommends Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for veterinary drugs.
A Codex Maximum Limit for Residues of Veterinary Drugs (MRL) is the maximum concentration or residue that results from the use of a veterinary drug (expressed in mg/kg or g/kg on a fresh weight basis) recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted or recognised as acceptable in or on a food.
An MRL is based on the type and amount of residue considered to be without any toxicological hazard from human health as expressed by the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)*, or on the basis of a temporary ADI that utilises an additional safety factor. An MRL also considers public health risks as well as food technology issues.
*Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI): an estimate by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the amount of a veterinary drug, expressed on a body weight basis, that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risk (standard man – 60kg).
When establishing a MRL, residues that occur in food of plant origin and/or the environment are also considered. Furthermore, a MRL may be reduced to be consistent with good practices in the use of veterinary drugs to the extent that practical and analytical methods are available.
Existing Codex Standards
Standards relating to residues of veterinary drugs in foods* that have been endorsed and adopted into the international food code include standards on:
- Control of the Use of Veterinary Drugs
- Glossary of Terms and Definitions (Veterinary Drugs Residues in Foods)
- Guidelines for the Establishment of a Regulatory Program for Control of Veterinary Drug Residues in Foods
- Maximum Residue Limits for Veterinary Drugs in Food
* This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards
Outcomes of the 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
The 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted standards and related texts as proposed by the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods.
The Commission also approved the proposals for new work as forwarded by CCRVDF.
In response to a request for advice regarding the inclusion of Zilpaterol on the Priority List for evaluation by JECFA, the Representative of the Legal Council indicated that there was a clear need for predictable procedures in Codex and noted that a consistent practice in CCRVDF had been established over the years. It was therefore reasonable for Codex members to expect that when a compound met the criteria for inclusion in the list, inclusion would follow. On that basis, the legal offices considered that a veterinary drug should be included in the Priority List for JECFA evaluation if it meets the criteria of paragraph 13 of the Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs.
The Commission considered Standards held at Step 8, in particular the MRLs for ractopamine. A vote was conducted as all other avenues to reach consensus had been explored. The outcome of the vote was 69 for adoption and 67 against adoption of the MRLs. Therefore the MRLs for ractopamine were adopted at Step 8.
The 20th Session of the Committee met in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 11 May 2012.
Matters for Adoption/Consideration by the 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
The Committee agreed to forward to the Commission:
The Committee agreed to forward:
- draft MRLs for narasin and proposed draft MRLs for amoxicillin and monensin for adoption at Step 8 and Step 5/8 and the proposed draft MRLs for monepantel for adoption at Step 5
- proposed draft Sampling Plan for Residue Control for Aquatic Animal Products and Derived Edible Products of Animal Origin for adoption at Step 5/8 (Table C, Annex B of CAC/GL 71-2009)
- proposed revised Risk Analysis Policy Applied by the CCRVDF and the renamed Risk Assessment Policy for Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods for inclusion in the Procedural Manual
The Committee also forwarded:
- priority List of Veterinary Drugs for Evaluation or Re-evaluation by JECFA
- project document on new work on the development of Risk Management Recommendations for Residues of Veterinary Drugs for which no ADI and/or MRLs has been recommended by JECFA due to Specific Human Health Concerns.
Matters for Advice by the 35th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
The Committee agreed to request advice and guidance regarding the appropriate steps to take regarding making a decision on whether or not to include a veterinary drug (i.e., zilpaterol) in the “Priority List”;
Matters Referred to the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP)
The Committee agreed to inform the CCGP that the use of the “concern form” was already under consideration in the context of its work on the revision of the Risk Analysis Principles applied by the CCRVDF.
The 21th Session of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods will be held in 18 months with location and dates to be confirmed by the host country and Codex Secretariat
25 Jul 2012