Food Law News - UK - 2002

FSA Press Release, 23 October 2002

CONTAMINANTS - Brazilian poultry imports to be tested for nitrofurans

The European Commission has ruled that all Brazilian poultry meat imports into the European Union (EU) should be tested after the UK and Germany detected the presence of nitrofurans - banned veterinary medicine - in chicken.

The ruling applies to all poultry meat intended for human consumption. Eight per cent of all UK poultry imports comes from Brazil.

Nitrofurans are veterinary medicines banned from use in food-producing animals in the EU. This is due to concerns about the possibility of an increased risk of cancer if people are exposed to them over a long period of time.

The Food Standards Agency supports the European Commission ruling, which is being implemented in England as the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) (Amendment) (No 3) Regulations 2002.

Similar regulations will also be implemented in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Agency has advised Border Inspection Post officials that all Brazilian poultry meat consignments should be tested and detained until the results come back from the labs.

The EC came to its conclusion at a meeting of Members States' technical experts on 20 September 2002.

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