Monograph on ten veterinary drugs coming up

Wednesday 09 Aug 17


Max Hansen
Senior Advisor
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 75 19

A toxicologist from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has been appointed by the UN’s World Health Organization, WHO, to join a group of food safety experts in October, when they meet to assess consumer safety related to the use of ten veterinary drugs. Their work will provide Codex Alimentarius with the advice needed to ensure that animal products do not contain unacceptable residues of the drugs.

Senior advisor Max Hansen from the National Food Institute will be kept very busy in October when he swaps his office in Lyngby, Copenhagen, with a meeting room in Geneva for two weeks. The Expert Committee on Food Additives, JECFA, which is an international scientific committee administered jointly by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, and the World Health Organization, WHO, has appointed Max Hansen along with 23 other food safety experts from all over the world to write a so-called monograph covering ten veterinary drugs.

Comprehensive task

The monograph is expected to comprise an estimated 600-700 pages and will be an exhaustive reference book, which will be used to ensure that food products of animal original do not contain drug residues that could harm consumers’ health.

Although veterinary drugs which are used in food producing animals are both well-controlled and well-regulated, Max Hansen expects that the working group will be kept busy during the two weeks that are set aside to assess all the information that the monograph must contain.

It will among other things include information about:

  • the way in which the ten drugs can affect consumers’ health, if residues in animal products are too high,
  • the acceptable intake,
  • calculations of the extent to which consumers are exposed through various foods, and
  • acceptable levels of residues in the foods consumers eat.

JECFA is conducting the risk assessments Codex Alimentarius, which is the body that sets the maximum levels for chemicals in food in international trade. Codex will use the monograph to ensure that food products of animal origin do not contain unacceptable residues of the drugs.

Read more

WHO appoints JECFA members who have demonstrated expertise in the various aspects of toxicology, risk assessment and exposure assessment, and who are recognised by their scientific peers for that expertise.

You can also read more about JECFA’s area of work and also its members and find agenda and reports from previous meetings on the World Health Organization’s website: Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).