With the contribution of the JRC, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins (EURL-AP) validated of new DNA-based methods detecting unauthorised proteins from ruminant origin (e.g. beef). This new method has been taken up in EU regulation. For its implementation the JRC now certified the reference material ERM-AD482, allowing the absence or presence testing of ruminant material in feed.
In 2001 a total feed ban for animal proteins (AP) was introduced to tackle the mad cow disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic. Twelve years later, Processed Animal Proteins (PAPs) derived from non-ruminant farmed animals (i.e. mainly pigs and poultry) have been re-authorised in fish feed by Commission Regulation (EU) No 51/2013.
Following the validation of a DNA based method by the EURL-AP, the JRC produced and released a corresponding certified reference material. ERM-AD482 allows the absence or presence of ruminant material (e.g. beef) in material obtained from non-ruminants (e.g., fish and poultry). This reference material facilitates the implementation of the regulation by control laboratories. The solutions are certified for their copy number concentration and allow control laboratories to determine their cut-off values and report their results in line with European Commission Regulation (EC) No 51/2013.
The reintroduction of PAPs derived from non-ruminant farmed animals in feed shows how scientific evidence-based advice can be used by policy makers and benefit consumers. The lack of measurement methods twelve years ago contributed to the total ban of PAPs. However, JRC scientists have significantly contributed to the development and provision of new quality assurance tools to protect consumers and animals as well as supporting industries. In general this has improved the overall sustainability of the aquaculture sector since PAPs are a valuable source of proteins for feed.
Detailed information about the production and certification of ERM-AD482 can be found in the certification report.