EU Poultry Feed Plan Rejected

UK - According to a North East scientist, the EU's plans to allow the use of pig remains as poultry feed could stir up another BSE-style crisis.
calendar icon 8 May 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The EU is reported to be preparing the move to save farmers millions of pounds as feed costs continue to soar, reports Journal Live.

Feeding animal remains to chickens has been banned in Europe for the past 10 years following the BSE crisis.

Dr Narang, a microbiologist who lives in Hexham, Northumberland, said he feared a repeat of the BSE crisis, which was caused when remains of animals were fed to cattle.

He said: “There are three reasons why this is a bad idea.

“Number one, it will make chickens much unhealthier as they will be eating meat rather than corn or other crops. This could add to the obesity crisis.

“Secondly fat, which would be part of the feed, stores carcinogens which can contribute to cancer.

“And finally it is difficult to predict what bugs could be passed on through the food chain to humans.

“We could have a similar situation as with BSE, when a disease is passed on to humans through eating contaminated meat.”

Dr Narang has launched a petition to stop the measure.

A Defra spokesman said: “We understand the European Commission will be submitting a proposal later this year. We would only support it if we were fully satisfied that appropriate and effective testing had taken place to control the use of such proteins in poultry feed.”

He added that an EU project looking at testing methods was due for completion in 2009. Keith Henderson, North East chairman of the NFU Poultry Board, said: “This is something I would only consider using if it was something that consumers would accept.

“Until the mid 80s there was a bit of meat in chicken feed and there were no problems then.

“Feed costs are astronomical at the moment and I think some will eventually start using pig feed.

“The NFU will always follow the best scientific advice and understanding, and so are waiting to hear the final EFSA (European Food Standards Authority) and food standards agency (FSA) opinions on the matter.”

The EFSA said it could not comment on the issue.

View the Journal Live story by clicking here.

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