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September 2019 update on the Animal Nutrition Section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed

This update provides information about the meeting of the Animal Nutrition (AN) Section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) held on 9-11 September 2019.

Meeting schedule

The next meeting is scheduled for 12-13 November 2019.

Feed additives

The Committee voted on five Commission proposals relating to feed additive legislation; with one item withdrawn, as summarised in the table below:

Agenda item Additive(other legislation) Authorisation type Vote




[Flavourings] Phenylmethanethiol, benzyl methyl sulphide, 2-pentylthiophene, tridec-2-enal, 12-methyltridecanal, 2,5-Dimethyl-phenol, hexa-2(trans),4(trans)-dienal and 2-ethyl-4-hydroxy-5-methyl-3(2H)-furanone for cats and dogs.

Re-authorisation In favour




L-lysine compounds: Lysine base, liquid, Lysine monohydrochloride, liquid, L-lysine mono-hydrochloride, technically pure, and L-lysine sulphate for all animal species.

Re-authorisation In favour




Preparation of sodium molybdate dihydrate for sheep.

Re-authorisation In favour




Commission Regulation establishing a list of intended uses of feed intended for particular nutritional purposes [PARNUTs] and repealing Directive 2008/38/EC.

Correcting Act In favour




Cassia gum as a feed additive for cats and dogs.

Amending Regulation In favour




Benzoic acid for weaned piglets and pigs for fattening.
Re-authorisation Dossier withdrawn

** QMV = Qualified majority vote (Due to voting instructions not received by all Member States)

On the voting item above:

  • PARNUTs (B.04) - three comments received through the EC Public Consultation, and none via the World Trade Organisation (WTO SPS) notification. Extended transition periods are established for entries to be deleted (12 months), and for existing entries where conditions of use have changed (24 months).
  • Cassia gum (B.05) - substitution of feed-grade to the more purified food-grade form which contain lower levels of the potentially carcinogenic impurity of anthraquinone, and its reduced use as a gelling agent only. Agreement for extended transition withdrawal periods of 3-6-12 months for the additive, premixture and compound feed respectively for the feed-grade form.
  • Benzoic acid (B.06) – dossier withdrawn by applicant at late stage.


Thirty-two other feed additive applications were scheduled, although many were not discussed due to time-constraints. However; of note:

  • EFSA Opinion (2019, No.5788) on sodium selenate was presented to the Committee. The scope of the dossier application is confined to ruminant species when administered by bolus only.
  • Further discussion held on the use of preservatives in feed (not water). In context of Annex provisions, the Commission explained that different organic acids essentially follow the same metabolic pathway and therefore, simultaneous use of organic acids at or near maximum limits should be avoided.
  • Unfavourable EFSA Opinion (2019, No.5786) on Maxiban® G160 (narasin and nicarbazin) has resulted in the applicant subsequently withdrawing the feed additive dossier.
  • EFSA Opinion (2019, No.5604) did not conclude on efficacy for a preparation of algae interspaced bentonite, and the applicant has subsequently withdrawn the feed additive dossier.


A near-final list of products considered out of scope of Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 was presented, with minor refinements from the June meeting. The recently withdrawn coccidiostat (Robenidine hydrochloride - Robenz 66 G) was also added to the list of feed additives to be withdrawn under the legal process.

A brief update was provided on the progress of the REFIT of Regulation 1831/2003 on feed additives. The Commission indicated that the evaluation process was scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

Extensive discussion on Regulation (EC) 429/2008 for the preparation of technical dossiers for feed additive authorisations. Whilst numerous sections were reviewed, the focus of discussions included a modified Application Form (Annex I) and technical discussion on analytical methods, with EFSA participating by videocon.

Discussion revived on third country exports of feed additives since the draft EC guidance document was stalled. Following previous discussions within GMO meetings, the legal interpretation on the definition of ‘placing on the market’ concluded this to be at the point of transfer of ownership of goods to another person within the EU. As a consequence, any intra-EU transfer for GMOs within EU (even prior to 3rd C export) would be classed as placing on the market and therefore would not be permitted; whilst allowing direct export without Member State trans-shipment. As the definition for placing on the market is consistent for GMOs and for feed additives, this GMO legal interpretation is similarly applicable to non-authorised feed. Commission is to publish a statement within the EC SCoPAFF-AN meeting minutes to this effect.

One Member State raised a query relating to the use of trace elements via drinking water in context of the use of liquid feeds. It was accepted that trace elements (or any feed additives) may not be added to water for direct consumption by animals with Commission emphasizing that complementary feed may only be used via a separate delivery system to drinking water. In conclusion, if liquid feed is to be administered there must also be a separate system to deliver unadulterated drinking water. The Commission intends to publish a statement on this matter within the EC SCoPAFF meeting minutes following final legal consideration.

Feed hygiene

The Commission provided a follow-up explanation of the creation of an Expert Group on Animal Nutrition in context of the Committee’s recent adoption of delegated acts to comply with conditions set out in the Lisbon Treaty. Delegated acts (i.e. certain Regulations) are to be agreed by an expert Stakeholder group and Member States, although are not subject to vote within SCoPAFF. In Animal Nutrition, delegated acts will apply to components of Regulations (EC) 1831/2003 on feed additives; 183/2005 on feed hygiene and Directive 2002/32/EC on undesirable substances. A decision is yet to conclude on this requirement for Regulation (EC) 767/2009 on the marketing of feed.

A document link is provided for a summary of delegated acts.

The Commission also provided an explanation of changes to transparency and confidentiality rules concerning feed additives, following the publication of the revised Regulation of General Food Law in the Official Journal of the European Union on Friday 6 September 2019.

A document link is provided on transparency and confidentiality.

Continued discussion held on the feed classification for a number of animal feed products to establish whether a feed material, feed additive or other. This included Ashbya gossypii, a naturally-rich fungal source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin); the compound CMIT/MIT used in the propagation of brine shrimp (Artemia nauplii) and for a dried seaweed product intended to reduce methane production in cattle. No conclusions were reached and anticipate discussing in November.

Undesirable substances

The Commission announced that a specific Working group is to be held on Undesirable substances (UDS-WG) on the 30 September 2019; in part, to dedicate time to the multiple topics, and to relieve time pressure at the two-day November SCoPAFF-AN meeting. As a consequence, there was only brief discussions held within this meeting on the topics:

  • On dioxins and PCBs in calcium soaps of fatty acids from fish oil, further data had been received but not yet reviewed.
  • The EURL is to provide an update at the UDS-WG on lowering levels of dioxins and PCBs in feed.
  • Guidance levels to lower limits for Deoxynivalenol (DON) and its modified forms in complete feed appear to be the preferred option. The Commission also flagged that some NOAELs were lower than current limits for specific animal species.
  • Similarly; on T2/HT-2 in feed, it is anticipated to move to guidance levels based on NOAELs/LOAELs.
  • Directive 2002/32/EC on undesirable substances; Section VII concerns the unavoidable carry-over of authorised feed additives in non-target feed. The Commission viewed the defining of carry-over levels as a positive step, as set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/4 on medicated feed.
  • Following the recent publication of the EFSA Opinion (2019, No.5754) on Occurrence data of nickel in feed and animal exposure assessment, the Commission is to consider setting either maximum limits or guidance limits. Whilst there was significant concern of nickel in food, it is unclear whether nickel in products of animal origin is attributed to animal feed or from food exposure to stainless steel in food production lines.
  • EURL (CvH) outlined that the analysis of p-phenetidine was challenging at the low levels required (typically 0.4 µg/kg in complete feed or few ug/kg in fishmeal).

More about SCoPAFF and its Animal Nutrition Section

SCoPAFF is a European Commission regulatory committee that was established by Regulation 178/2002, a regulation that includes the laying down of principles and requirements of feed law. Meetings of the committee are chaired by European Commission officials and attended by member states' representatives. The Committee can give an opinion, that is to say a vote, on certain proposed measures, prior to their possible adoption by the Commission.