EFSA Focal Point Nieuwsbrief 25 september 2019

Bijeenkomsten en trainingen

131st Plenary meeting of the BIOHAZ Panel - open for observers

23-24 October 2019, Parma, Italy

Members of the relevant scientific panel meet to discuss and adopt scientific outputs. Draft agenda will follow in due time.

Attend in person:
Registration open
Deadline: 18 October 2019 - 23:59 (CEST)

Follow online:
Registration open
Deadline: 22 October 2019 - 23:59 (CEST)

Webinar: How to prepare a pest list for a commodity and a dossier for Mormodica fruits

Online 17 October 2019

Follow online:
Registration open
Deadline: 16 October 2019 - 23:59 (CEST)

Follow online:
Registration open
Deadline: 16 October 2019 - 23:59 (CEST)

Session 1 | 10:30 - 11:30 (GMT+01:00)
Session 2 | 15:30 - 16:30 (GMT+01:00)

Please note that the two planned session deliver the same content. Participants can sign up to the session that matches best with their time zone.


Article 42 of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 introduces the concept of “high-risk plants”. This is a group of plants, plant products and other objects whose introduction poses a pest risk of an unacceptable level for the European Union. A provisional list of high-risk plants was published on 18 December 2018. Import of these high-risk plants will be prohibited. The national plant protection organisations (NPPOs) of non-EU countries can request that the import prohibition be lifted by submitting a technical dossier to the European Commission. This technical dossier will be the basis of a risk assessment of a specific commodity to be carried out by EFSA.

On 31 October 2018, EFSA published a technical report on the information required for dossiers supporting demands for import of high risk plants, plant products and other objects as foreseen in Article 42 of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031. A previous webinar aiming to help the NPPOs from non-EU countries with the preparation and submission of high-risk plant dossiers was held on 12 February 2019 (available at this link).

On 29 April 2019, EFSA published guidance on commodity risk assessment for the evaluation of high-risk plant dossiers. This guidance was developed to establish the methodology to be followed when performing a risk assessment for high-risk commodities (plants, plant products and other objects). This webinar aims to support NPPOs from non-EU countries on more specific aspects of the preparation and submission of dossiers. It focuses on the compilation of the pest list through literature searches and one specific case of commodity risk assessment (Momordica L.). During the webinar, participants may submit questions to which EFSA will answer live and in writing after the presentation. EFSA will publish a recording of the webinar after the event.

Note to participants:

For technical reasons, participation is limited to a maximum of 500 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Technical requirements and assistance

Test Adobe Connect
Instructions for participants


Scientific Opinion - Appropriate age range for introduction of complementary feeding into an infant’s diet

Published 12 September 2019

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) revised its 2009 Opinion on the appropriate age for introduction of complementary feeding of infants. This age has been evaluated considering the effects on health outcomes, nutritional aspects and infant development, and depends on the individual’s characteristics and development. As long as foods have an age-appropriate texture, are nutritionally appropriate and prepared following good hygiene practices, there is no convincing evidence that at any age investigated in the included studies (< 1 to < 6 months), the introduction of complementary foods (CFs) is associated with adverse health effects or benefits (except for infants at risk of iron depletion). For nutritional reasons, the majority of infants need CFs from around 6 months of age. Infants at risk of iron depletion (exclusively breastfed infants born to mothers with low iron status, or with early umbilical cord clamping (< 1 min after birth), or born preterm, or born small-for-gestational age or with high growth velocity) may benefit from earlier introduction of CFs that are a source of iron. The earliest developmental skills relevant for consuming pureed CFs can be observed between 3 and 4 months of age. Skills for consuming finger foods can be observed in some infants at 4 months, but more commonly at 5–7 months. The fact that an infant may be ready from a neurodevelopmental perspective to progress to a more diversified diet before 6 months of age does not imply that there is a need to introduce CFs. There is no reason to postpone the introduction of potentially allergenic foods (egg, cereals, fish and peanut) to a later age than that of other CFs as far as the risk of developing atopic diseases is concerned. Regarding the risk of coeliac disease, gluten can be introduced with other CFs.

Appropriate age range for introduction of complementary feeding into an infant’s diet


EFSA has launched public consultations on two scientific reports:

- Cumulative risk assessment of pesticides and the nervous system; 
- Cumulative risk assessment of pesticides and the thyroid.

EFSA is finalising two pilot assessments of the cumulative effects of pesticide residues in food. These are retrospective assessments of the cumulative risks for the nervous system and the thyroid using monitoring data from 2014, 2015 and 2016 and are reported in the draft scientific reports on “Cumulative dietary risk characterisation of pesticides that have acute effects on the nervous system”and “Cumulative dietary risk characterisation of pesticides that have chronic effects on the thyroid”.

Deadline for comments: 15 November 2019

Public consultation on the draft EFSA scientific reports on a cumulative dietary risk characterisation of pesticides that have acute effects on the nervous system and chronic effects on the thyroid


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