The EU precautionary bans of animal feed additive antibiotics
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Toxicologists, with good reason, will feel that the biological safety of chemical products across the market sectors rests largely on their efforts. However, one sector has received much adverse attention from the media, consumers, politicians, legislators and advisory groups in recent years. It is food animal production in intensive systems and, within those, various types of chemical additives included in the compound diets fed. No additive class received more adverse comment than those antibiotics used for the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of animal production. This paper considers the safety of the antibiotic feed additives (AFAs) against the background of the regulatory measures in place, defines their role and describes the relevant concerns. It closes with comment on the microbiologically-based health risk which underpinned the AFA bans and sounds a warning over the precedent created by the use of the precautionary principle in the recent banning of six of their number.
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