FAO urges better control of animal feed contamination
The widening cancer scare in Belgium caused by dioxin-contaminated animal products is another clear warning that animal feeds can have a direct impact on the safety and quality of foods, FAO has warned.
The Organization has produced a draft Code of Practice for Good Animal Feeding containing a series of steps that can help to prevent feed contamination problems. It covers good animal feeding practices and promotes good practices in the procurement, handling, manufacture, storage and distribution of commercially produced feeds for food-producing animals.
The Code is being considered for adoption by the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, the body that sets international food standards.
Dioxins tend to be absorbed in animal and human fatty tissues and have been shown to cause cancer in several animal species. They are not produced commercially, but are formed as by-products in other industrial chemical production processes. Dioxins are extremely resistant to chemical and biological cleanup processes.
Listen to or download an interview with Alan Randell, Senior Officer, FAO Food and Nutrition Division (ESN), who gives his view on the decision by several African countries to ban dioxin-contaminated meat and dairy products from the European Community:
10 June 1999