Livestock feed safety questioned

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High levels of heavy metals have been found in samples of livestock feed from the Asia-Pacific region. High levels of heavy metals have been found in samples of livestock feed from the Asia-Pacific region. High levels of heavy metals have been found in samples of livestock feed from the Asia-Pacific region.

About 20 percent of minerals, premix and complete feed samples from Asia-Pacific are contaminated with heavy metals above European Union (EU) limits, according to the 2016 Alltech Asia-Pacific Heavy Metal Survey.


Of the 1,375 samples of minerals, premix and complete feeds from 16 Asia-Pacific countries submitted for testing in the survey, many contained an arsenic, cadmium and lead count exceeding EU allowable limits.

"The contamination of complete feed shown in this year’s survey is alarming," Alltech Asia-Pacific mineral manager Tara Jarman says.

"This is a strong indication that what we’re ultimately feeding our animals is posing an ongoing risk to both animals and humans."

Arsenic, cadmium and lead are potentially toxic and can lead to decreased performance due to immune suppression or liver and kidney damage, according to Alltech.

"We are concerned that these levels of contamination also indicate potential risks for human health through the contamination of meat, eggs and milk," Jarman says.

"The results from this year’s survey were consistent with the results from the last five years,"

About 38 percent of swine feed, 26 percent of poultry feed and 28 percent complete feed samples were contaminated above the EU limit, according to Alltech.

Extremely high levels were seen in some mineral samples. Cadmium, a known carcinogen for humans, was detected at levels as high as 16,579 ppm in a zinc sulphate sample, whereas the acceptable EU limit is just 10 ppm.

"As we’ve seen in previous surveys, cadmium continues to be the main contaminant, which is likely attributed to the processes involved in the mining and manufacturing of inorganic mineral sources," Jarman says.

Alltech has developed a mineral quality control program, which is used by those looking to export or just ensure the quality of their feed before it goes to the market and is used in in over 85 countries around the world.

 

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