Food Law News - EU - 2002

EP Daily News, 21 November 2002

CONTAMINANTS - Quicker phase-out of antibiotics in animal feed demanded

Report on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on additives for use in animal nutrition

Parliament has voted today to back the Commission's proposal to phase out the last four antibiotics still used as growth promoters in animal feed but is calling for the proposed deadline for withdrawing them to be brought forward by one year to 1 January 2005 from the date of 1 January 2006 proposed by the Commission.

It adopted a first-reading report by Hedwig KEPPELHOFF-WIECHERT (EPP-ED, D) welcoming the Commission's draft regulation on additives in animal nutrition - which is part of a raft of new food safety legislation and fulfils a commitment made to Parliament by Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne in 1999 - whilst amending parts of it.

In addition to bringing forward the ban on antibiotics in feed, Parliament wants to tighten up the Commission's proposal relating to two specific substances - coccidiostats and histomonostats - used as feed additives to control poultry diseases. The Commission has proposed an open-ended derogation allowing their continued use but Parliament, which has co-decision powers with Council over this draft regulation, says they can only be used until the end of 2008 and sets a final deadline of 1 January 2009 for banning them, provided no legislation has been passed to continue their use on the basis of a report to be submitted by 1 January 2008.

The House also passed amendments designed to simplify the authorisation procedure for feed additives, exclude pet foods from the scope of the new legislation and to allow the use of the banned additives (except antibiotics) in scientific experiments.

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