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Feeding Stuffs (Contamination)

Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 25 May 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if any milk or meat from animals, which have consumed feeding stuffs found to have been contaminated by aflatoxin, is known to have been supplied in Great Britain for human consumption over the course of the past two years; and what steps are being taken to prevent such an eventuality;(2) if any incidents involving the contamination of animal feeding stuffs imported into the United Kingdom or produced at home have been reported over the course of the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

During the past two years my Department has received three reports of animal sickness suspected to have resulted from the consumption of feeding stuffs contaminated by aflatoxin. The present procedure, in cases such as these, is to inform the local health and enforcement authorities and the manufacturer concerned. With effect from 1st October 1976 the Fertilisers and Feeding-stuffs (Amendment) Regulations 1976 fixed maximum levels for aflatoxin in feeding stuffs. These take account of the need to protect human, as well as animal, health. At these levels there would not be any significant carry-over into milk and meat.Additionally, there have been cases of anthrax in animals attributable to feeding stuffs. Circumstantial evidence points to an importation of groundnuts as the source of infection in recent cases in Salop and neighbouring counties.