Hormone, Antibiotic Residues in Animals Stabilised

EU - Based on 736,806 analytical results collected by Member States, the European Commission has published a report which concludes that for the reporting period 2010, only 0.33 per cent of the total number of targeted samples on residues was detected in animals as being non-compliant with EU standards.
calendar icon 21 March 2012
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The results were even lower for the illegal use of growth hormones (0.15 per cent) and the use of antimicrobial substances (which can only be administered to animals for treatment, 0.23 per cent). Contaminants (persistent substances such as dioxins or chemical elements such as lead and copper) account for the highest percentage of non-compliance (1.5 per cent).

The finding of only 0.33 per cent in 2010 is within the range of the previous three years (0.32 per cent to 0.34 per cent), which indicates a stabilisation in the results.

Samples of food of animal origin (meat, farmed fish, milk, honey and eggs), live animals, as well as the animal feed and drinking water, are tested for presence of residues.

Upon detection of non compliances, a system of follow-up actions including spot checks on farms of origin or departure, is carried out. During these spot checks, evidence of misuse or abuse is sought (e.g. presence of illegal veterinary medicinal products).

Imports from countries outside of the EU were also covered by the report and used as part of the annual evaluation and authorisation of meat imports into the EU. Apart from respecting conditions related to animal health, third world countries who want to export these food commodities to the EU need to submit monitoring plans and the results to the Commission for approval. Information generated from samples at import showed that of the 5,377 samples taken, 0.76 per cent were non-compliant.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Charlotte Johnson

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