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Joint expert commission BVL and BfArM for classification of substances

Logos des BVL und der BfArM

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) have initiated an expert commission for the classification of substances.

The main reason for creating the new commission is that substances, which until recently were mainly or only used in drugs, are increasingly put into circulation as foodstuffs or foodstuff ingredients. . According to the authorities there are still frequent concerns regarding the safety and the marketability of these products as foodstuffs.

The aim of the joint expert commission, as a recognized, independent panel, is to develop criteria catalogues, decision trees and written opinions. The commission is constituted by specialists which consider both scientific as well as legal aspects within their work. This certainly contributes to the high scientific authority of the commission’s work. Topics include, for example, the classification of possible health risks or the classification of whether a substance is to be qualified as a drug. The opinions to be created shall conclude with a recommendation of whether a substance is marketable as a foodstuff or not. The joint expert commission will thereby actively contribute to to the risk assessment of so-called borderline products and thereby to safeguarding health of the population.

With the recommendations of the commission, the competent federal government and state authorities should be provided with opinions which can support the legal enforcement measures.

A committee of six members and six deputies was appointed from a number of qualified applicants. The appointed experts are professionals in in the fields of toxicology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical biology, food technology, food and drug analysis, drug safety, nutritional medicine and food and drug laws. The professional knowledge of the six experts who are independent of any public authority should be used constructively within the work of the expert committee in cooperation with expertise from the four representatives of the official drug and food monitoring and one representative each from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the BVL and the BfArM.

The BVL and BfArM are jointly heading the commission’s secretariat. The constituent assembly took place on 28 January 2013 in Berlin. (See agenda)

Group picture of the joint expert commission. ZoomThe joint expert commission assumed its duties on 28 January 2013 in Berlin. Present at the first assembly was the presidents of BVL and BfArM, Dr Helmut Tschiersky and Prof Dr Walter Schwerdtfeger. © BVL

At the constituent session, the commission accepted their duties in the presence of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Presidents of the BVL, Dr Helmut Tschiersky, and the BfArM, Prof Dr Walter Schwerdtfeger.

External experts for were appointed for the first period of three years:

  • Frau Prof. Dr. Susanne Alban
  • Herr Prof. Dr. Michael Keusgen
  • Frau Prof. Dr. Karen Nieber
  • Herr Prof. Dr. Kurt Racké
  • Herr Prof. Dr. Dieter Schrenk
  • Herr Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Voit

Experts of the food controlling authorities in the federal states and the experts from BfR are:

  • Frau Dr. Vera Lander (LGL Bayern)
  • Herr Dr. Klaus-Peter Latté (Landeslabor Berlin-Brandenburg)
  • Frau Sibylle Maixner (CVUA Karlsruhe)
  • Herr Dr. Nicholas Schramek (LGL Bayern)
  • Herr Klaus-Jürgen Henning (BfR)

Experts from BVL and BfArM are:

  • Frau Dr. Evelyn Breitweg-Lehmann (BVL, not entitled to vote)
  • Frau Dr. Kerstin Stephan (BfArM, not entitled to vote)

Prof Dr Keusgen from the University of Marburg will be chair for the next three years.

The picture shows the elected board: Prof Dr Michael Keusgen was chosen as chairman of the commission, Prof Dr Dieter Schrenk as deputy, Dr Klaus-Peter Latté as second deputy. ZoomProf Dr Michael Keusgen (centre) was chosen as chairman of the commission, Prof Dr Dieter Schrenk (left) as deputy, Dr Klaus-Peter Latté (right) as second deputy. © BVL

Further information about the organisation and execution can be found in the internal rules of procedure and the Formation decree.

Contact: Office of the joint expert commission

Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit,
Referat 101
Mauerstraße 39-42
10117 Berlin

Please send postal mail only to the BVL

Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte

Kurt-Georg-Kiesinger-Allee 3
53175 Bonn

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