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Changes to assessment of maximum residue limits
An MRL is the highest level of residue from a veterinary medicine that is legally allowed in food for human consumption.
New EMA measures to replace current guidance

Three new regulations to strengthen the assessment of maximum residue limits (MRLs) of veterinary medicines in food-producing animals have been implemented by the European Medicines Agency.

The measures will also serve as key reference documents for companies who apply for the establishment of MRLs for their respective medicine.

An MRL is the highest level of residue from a veterinary medicine that is legally allowed in food for human consumption. Under EU law, food from animals must not contain levels of veterinary medicine that might represent a hazard to the health of the consumer.

The first measure, adopted in January 2017, changes the structure of the documentation to be included in the application dossier for an MRL application by including a new chapter on risk management considerations. It also changes the position in the dossier of the so-called detailed and critical summaries - a summary report provided by experts.  

Measure two, adopted in May 2017, aims to increase the availability of veterinary medicines. It outlines the principles and minimum criteria for the extrapolation of an MRL to either another foodstuff from the same species, or to the same foodstuff from another species.

The third measure, adopted in May 2018, describes the methodology to be used in the scientific risk assessment and establishment of risk management recommendations relevant to MRL applications. The new rules will replace the existing guidance on MRLs in Volume 8 of “The rules governing medicinal products in the European Union" as of 19 June 2018. 

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.