SRP Member in Successful Help with EU Negotiation

News Story from 23rd May 2016

SRP Member in Successful Help with EU Negotiation

In 2014-2015 SRP member Selwyn Runacres of the Food Standards Agency used his radiological knowledge of food safety to contribute to and assist the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the Council Atomic Questions Working Party (WPAQ).  Council Working Parties principally engage in examining European Commission legislation and agreeing it before it goes to the Council (a meeting of the ministers from all 28 EU Member States who approve the legislation).

WPAQ is responsible for all issues relating to nuclear power and nuclear safety that are of interest to the EU. 'My main area of work was leading the UK and FSA delegation discussion on the maximum permitted levels of radioactivity in food and feed in emergencies.  The success in the negotiations was due in part to the radiological knowledge I gained at SRP seminars as well as the support of other SRP members' commented Selwyn.  Following the Chernobyl accident on 26th April 1986, radioactive materials were released in to the atmosphere contaminating food and feeding-stuffs significant to health of the population. The EC subsequently adopted measures to ensure that agricultural products are only introduced into the EU according to common arrangements to protect public health (while avoiding impact on trade).

Following a nuclear accident or emergency likely to lead to significant radioactive contamination, maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination (MPLs) of food are set to safeguard the public. The MPLs were set out in European Regulations in 1987 and have been amended a number of times but now a full refresh of the legislation was undertaken to keep them up to date with current science and EU law. The working party was tasked with examining recent MPL legislative proposals. It was refreshing to see best scientific methods being used to update and improve legislation that should protect the public from exposure under emergency conditions.

Selwyn Runacres works for the Food Standards Agency and has been an SRP member since 2010; he is pictured back row, 6th from right.

Reference:  Click here for Regulation  (Euratom) 2016/52 of 15 January 2016 laying down maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination of food and feed following a nuclear accident or any other case of radiological emergency, and repealing Regulation (Euratom) No 3954/87 and Commission Regulations (Euratom) No 944/89 and (Euratom) No 770/90




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