Regulations for feed

The positive correlation between human diseases and mycotoxins was recognized in the early 60’s with the discovery of aflatoxins. Regulations for mycotoxins were first established in the late 60’s in the United States in order to protect animal and human health from the hazardous effects of these toxic compounds. The need to regulate the safety levels of mycotoxins in animal feedstuffs and food is enhanced as consumers are increasingly aware of food safety issues, as the animal production system is becoming more and more intensive and animals are very sensitive to production-disturbing agents and as the amount of information known about this issue rises due to continuous investigation.

However, there are many factors that influence and complicate the setting of safe levels for the different mycotoxins in different countries. On the one hand there is still a lack of information regarding scientific factors such as the level of human exposure, the data regarding mycotoxins’ effects in animals and in humans and the availability of efficient and accurate methods of feed sampling and analysis. On the other hand and very importantly, economic factors play a vital role in this decision making process. Mycotoxins limitation in feedstuffs and food will naturally impose cost on producers and consumers and the failure to comply with the regulations of the different countries will certainly disrupt trade.

Despite all these factors, regulations exist worldwide, covering approximatelly 90% of worlds population. In case of EU member states Commission regulation (EU) No. 574/2011 of 16 June 2011amending Annex I to Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum levels for nitrite, melamine, Ambrosia spp. and carry-over of certain coccidiostats and histomonostats and consolidating Annexes I and II thereto and the Commission regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in food are the basic regulations to be applied. Nevertheless, the regulatory agencies within each country are allowed to set higher standard rules. As for the regulations worldwide, the latter is also verifiable.

Following the initiative made in previous years, in 2002/2003, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducted an international survey in order to gather information regarding the existing regulations for mycotoxins worldwide. The result was the publishing of the “Worldwide regulations for mycotoxins 2003”. The information presented below has been gathered from both the EU Regulations and the FAO document in a simple way so it can be easily used by all interested people, especially professionals working in the animal nutrition sector.

click on the world map to see the worldwide regulations

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