Food Law News - EU - 2002

FSA Consultation Letter, 28 March 2002

FEED - Proposed EC additives regulation - Phasing out of antibiotic growth promoters

The European Commission has recently published a proposal for a new Regulation controlling the use of additives in animal nutrition. It contains a number of provisions relating to the authorisation of these substances including one on the phasing out of antibiotic growth promoters. A copy of this proposal is available on the FSA web site.


Feed additives such as vitamins, trace elements, binders, preservatives etc are currently controlled by Directive 70/524/EC which was last substantially amended by Directive 96/51/EC. This also includes the use of antibiotics used as growth promoting feed additives and coccidiostats as feed additives (coccidiostats are substances added to feed to kill or inhibit the growth of certain parasites mainly in poultry). Basically only additives on an authorised list can be used in animal feeds according to certain conditions of use. New additives are included on the list only after an assessment for safety, quality and efficacy. The controls cover additives used in pet foods.

The Commission considers that certain changes are needed in order to rationalise and consolidate existing rules and to clarify procedural aspects of feed additive authorisations. The overall intention of the new proposal is to protect consumers of livestock products from animals fed feedingstuffs containing additives.

Main Features of the Proposal

Some of the provisions in the proposal reflect existing controls in Directive 70/524/EC. For example, the principle of a permitted list of feed additives based on safety, quality and efficacy is retained. The FSA have indicated below, the main provisions of the proposal including certain new measures they have identified. The Explanatory Memorandum presented with the proposal sets out the Commission's reasons and objectives for the measures.


The FSA would be grateful for any comments on the above and other provisions in the proposed EC Regulation. It is difficult to fix a firm deadline because the Spanish Presidency has indicated that it intends to proceed promptly with this proposal and may hold a first Council working group during April. The FSA will certainly need comments by mid- May, so have indicated a deadline of 15 May.

The Agency will forward comments relating to antibiotic growth promoters, coccidiostats and other zootechnical additives to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

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