HPS Weekly Report
16 Oct 2018
Volume 52 No. 41
Public consultation on the FEEDAP panel’s guidance on the assessment of the safety of feed additives for the environment
The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) has launched an open consultation on draft guidance on the assessment of the safety of feed additives for the environment.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 19 November 2018 using the electronic template provided on the EFSA website
Source: EFSA, 8 October 2018
New WHO noise guidelines for Europe
On 10 October 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published ‘Environmental noise guidelines for the European region’. The guidelines provide strong evidence that noise is one of the top environmental hazards to both physical and mental health and well-being in the region.
Compared to previous WHO guidelines on noise, this version contains five new developments:
- stronger evidence of the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of environmental noise;
- inclusion of new noise sources, namely wind turbine noise and leisure noise, in addition to noise from transportation (aircraft, rail and road traffic);
- use of a standardised approach to assess the evidence;
- a systematic review of evidence, defining the relationship between noise exposure and risk of adverse health outcomes;
- use of long-term average noise exposure indicators to better predict adverse health outcomes.
The guidelines also highlight data and research gaps to be addressed in future studies.
The guidelines are available on the WHO Europe website
Source: WHO Europe, 10 October 2018
IPCC publish ‘Special report global warming of 1.5°C’
On 6 October 2018, the 48th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-48) approved the ‘Special report global warming of 1.5°C (SR15)’ in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement in 2015, the IPCC was invited to produce a report on global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways. The IPCC accepted the invitation, adding that they would look at these issues in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. This special report will be a key scientific input into the Katowice climate change conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided or lessened by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99%) would be lost with 2°C.
The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5°C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be.
This is the first in a series of special reports to be produced in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment cycle. Next year they will release the ‘Special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate (SROCC)’ and the ‘Special report on climate change and land (SRCCL)’.
The report is available on the IPCC website
Meat processing plants - FSA / FSS review
On 11 October 2018, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) published a draft review of meat cutting plants and cold stores. The review includes a series of recommendations for the meat industry and the regulators themselves, aimed at improving compliance and assurance in the meat processing industry.
The review was announced in February 2018 (see current note 52/0903) to identify potential improvements in the way the sector is regulated in the wake of non-compliance issues identified at cutting plants. Emergent findings were published and discussed at the FSA and FSS Board meetings in May and June.
A comprehensive stakeholder engagement and evidence gathering process has been conducted which included:
- contacting all 419 local authorities in the UK and 325 food business organisations to seek their views;
- holding six workshops across the UK attended by almost 100 organisations, including food businesses, local authorities and trade bodies;
- engaging with more than 60 industry stakeholder organisations and others who represent professional members working in regulation and assurance.
The recommendations, which are subject to the approval of each organisation’s Board at a meeting in Edinburgh on 17 October, are designed to prioritise food safety and improve overall industry standards in the meat supply chain.
The 19 recommendations for industry and regulators include:
- greater involvement of industry to produce clearer guidance to meet the needs of food businesses;
- increased focus on skills and capabilities across industry;
- greater data transparency and sharing across industry and with the regulators;
- more effective use of data by regulatory authorities and improved regulatory coordination and consistency;
- trialling the feasibility of using a single organisation to deliver all official controls in a geographic location.
The draft review is available on the FSA website
Source: FSA, 11 October 2018
International Infection Prevention Week: 14-20 October 2018
International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) takes place during the third week of October each year. IIPW is organised by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and aims to raise awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. The theme this year is ‘Protecting patients everywhere’, focusing on the important role all healthcare professionals play in preventing the spread of infection and promoting patient safety.
More information, resources and ideas for activities to support IIPW are available on the APIC website