The decision to set up the Committee was made in the light of concern about the integrity of animal feeds, particularly over the implications of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and the use of genetically modified (GM) feed ingredients. The decision was announced in the White Paper, ‘The Food Standards Agency: A Force for Change’, published in January 1998 and it implemented the principal recommendation of the report of the Expert Group on Animal Feedingstuffs, published in July 1992.
The Committee’s primary purpose is to advise on the safety and use of animal feed in relation to human health. However, it also covers animal health aspects and a wide range of contemporary issues including advice on the UK negotiating line on new European Community (EC) proposals, animal feed ingredients including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and labelling and information for purchasers of animal feed.
ACAF is an UK-wide committee and is made up of independent experts who were appointed by UK agriculture ministers and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Members are appointed for their individual expertise and experience and are not representative of any organisation. ACAF is committed to a policy of openness and publishes its agendas, minutes, reports and most of its papers on its website.
Terms of Reference
To advise the Food Standards Agency, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministers of the Scottish Government, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland on the safety and use of animal feeds and feeding practices, with particular emphasis on protecting human health and with reference to new technical developments. In carrying out its functions, the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs will liaise with other relevant advisory committees as appropriate.
ACAF currently consists of a chairman and 13 members from wide-ranging backgrounds including consumer affairs, farming, feed industry and science. Members were appointed in accordance with the Nolan Principles, which aim to ensure fairness and transparency in appointments to public bodies.