The aim of EU legislation on undesirable substances in animal nutrition is to ensure that feed is put into circulation only if they are sound, genuine and of merchantable quality and, when correctly used, do not represent any danger to human health, animal health or the environment or do not adversely affect livestock production.
"Undesirable substances" in EU legislation on animal nutrition means any substance or product, with the exception of pathogenic agents, present in and/or on the product intended for animal feed which presents a potential danger to human health, animal health or the environment or do not adversely affect livestock production.
EU legislation on undesirable substances in animal feed from the 1970s on was consolidated by Council Directive 2002/32/EC. This Directive was replaced by Directive 2002/32/EC (consolidated version) of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 7 May 2002, on undesirable substances in animal feed. The Directive has been subsequently regularly amended in the light of developments in scientific and technical knowledge.
Directive 2002/32/EC introduced some major amendments:
- The most important prohibits the dilution of contaminated feed materials
- It also includes maximum limits for heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium as well as for dioxin, aflatoxin, certain pesticides, and botanical impurities in certain feed materials, feed additives and feedingstuffs
In addition, several Commission Recommendation have been adopted in relation to the presence of mycotoxins, in particular ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, T-2 and HT-2 toxin in cereals and cereal products intended for animal feed.
Commission Recommendation 2006/583/EC of 17 August 2006 on the prevention and reduction of Fusarium toxins in cereals and cereal products
Commission Recommendation 2006/576/EC of 17 August 2006 on the presence of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 and fumonisins in products intended for animal feeding as amended by Commission Recommendation 2013/637/EU of 4 November 2014 as regards T-2 and HT-2 toxin in compound feed for cats- Commission Recommendation 2013/165/EU of 27 March 2013 on the presence of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in cereals and cereal products.
Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed provides that Member States are to ensure that measures are taken to guarantee the correct application of any acceptable detoxification process on products intended for animal feed and the conformity of those detoxified products with the provisions of Annex I of that Directive. In order to ensure a uniform assessment across the European Union of the acceptability of detoxification processes, acceptability criteria for detoxification processes are established at Union level by Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786 of 19 May 2015, defining acceptability criteria for detoxification processes applied to products intended for animal feed as provided for in Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Please read more background and an overview of detoxification/decontamination processes assessed by EFSA is provided
- Contaminants Catalogue
- Questions and Answers on Feed Hygiene (2004)
- 2007: Three new Community Reference Laboratories will ensure reliable testing of food and animal feed
- 2005: Ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed enters into effect
- 2004: Safety first in feed additive authorisations
- 2004: Byrne welcomes completion of extensive review of food and feed controls and hygiene rules
- 2003: EU complies with WTO ruling on Hormone beef and calls on USA and Canada to lift trade sanctions
- 2003: Council and Parliament prohibit antibiotics as growth promoters: Commissioner Byrne welcomes adoption of Regulation on feed additives
- 2003: New feed hygiene requirements: the missing link to guarantee food safety
- 2003: Brighter eyesight or brighter salmon? Commission decides new rules on colouring feed additive
- 2002: Limits on presence of dioxin in food and feed enter into force on 1st July
- 2001: "Dioxin in Feed" Commissioner Byrne welcomes adoption by Council of dioxin limits in feed
- 2001: Labelling of compound feedingstuffs agreed in conciliation: clear percentages on label
- 2001: Fact Sheet on dioxin in feed and food