Alternative and renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important, as fossil energy sources are finite, are subject to political issues and are considered to have a detrimental impact on the environment. Animal fats may be such a possible source for renewable energy.
However, all potential chemical and biological risks associated with it need to be evaluated, before animal fats can be used to produce biodiesel. Upon request from the Canadian government, SAFOSO has been part of an international panel of experts that has evaluated the biological risks related to the use of specified risk materials of bovine origin, focusing on the specific risk related to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE).
Through a thorough evaluation of published and unpublished work the panel has considered the entire pathway from live animals to biodiesel and considered all possible risks and risk reduction procedures in this pathway. The panel reached the conclusion that biodiesel produced from animals infected with TSE poses a negligible risk to animal and public health.