Tuesday

18th Sep 2018

EU to prohibit all antibiotics from feed

The European Commission adopted on Monday new safety rules for feed additives prohibiting the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. Under the new rules, the four remaining authorised antibiotics currently used as growth promoters within the EU will be phased out as of January 2006. The European Union already prohibited the use of other antibiotics, and following the advice of the scientific committee, it will rule out the use of any antibiotic as routine component of animal feed.

The same safety rules will apply to imports from third countries, in order to ensure fair treatment between community and external producers and avoid trade wars. A recent move by the EU to rule out beef with growth hormones sparked a trade row with the United States, as it banned a large share of American beef production from the European market. A separate piece of legislation deals with the control and monitoring of imports from third countries, the commissioner responsible for health and consumer protection David Byrne said.

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Mr Byrne also said on Monday that the use of the four presently allowed antibiotics represents no threat to human health. Nevertheless, following advice of the scientific committee, the EU will phase out their regular use in feed. They will be progressively replaced with alternatives, the commissioner explained. "This fulfils my commitment to the European Parliament in September 1999," Mr Byrne told the press.

Under the new proposal, which streamlines the existing rules on safety evaluation and marketing authorisation of feed additives, all new authorisations of feed additives will be granted for a ten-year period only. The companies applying for authorisation or re-authorisation of their products must demonstrate the positive effect for the animal (efficacy) and the absence of a risk for human health, animal health and the environment (safety).

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