EUROPE – As concerns mount over the presence of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in animal feed, the European Union (EU) is intensifying efforts to develop enforceable limits on these chemicals, according to an article by Feed Navigator. 

Building upon last year’s regulation targeting PFAS levels in food, the EU is now focusing on feed, where no maximum limits for PFAS currently exist.

Current EU regulations already place caps on four PFAS compounds in meat, poultry, fish, and eggs produced or destined for Europe. However, feed remains unregulated in this regard. 

Craig Simpson, a food and feed regulatory specialist at Keller and Heckman, highlighted the need for more sensitive PFAS analytical methods to assess PFAS levels in feed accurately.

Frans Verstraete from DG Santé revealed that the EU will likely adopt and publish PFAS monitoring recommendations tailored for feed by June 2024. 

This comes after the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) conducted investigations in 2021, indicating the necessity for enhanced detection methods to assess PFAS levels in feed comprehensively.

The European Reference Laboratory (EURL) has been actively working to bolster analytical capabilities for detecting PFAS in food and feed for several years. In the absence of specific feed monitoring guidance, certain provisions regarding feed have been incorporated into existing food recommendations. 

Member states have been encouraged to monitor PFAS levels in feed, and those lacking analytical capabilities are urged to initiate validation procedures for PFAS analysis methods.

Termed as ‘forever chemicals,‘ PFAS are notorious for their persistence and bioaccumulation, posing significant risks to human, animal, and environmental health. The contamination of fishmeal, a common ingredient in animal feed, has raised alarming concerns about elevated PFAS levels in eggs from organically raised chickens.

Efforts to address PFAS contamination in fishmeal have been complex. Last year, the European Fishmeal and Fish Oil Producers (EFFOP) submitted a comprehensive dataset to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). 

This dataset, comprising data from 175 distinct fishmeal batches, aims to inform risk assessments and management strategies concerning future PFAS levels in feed.

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