HL Deb 28 February 2003 vol 645 cc74-5WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Govenment:

What independent advice they have received on the effects of ionophores in animal food on (a) resistance to antibiotics in humans and (b) the risks of young children exceeding acceptable daily intakes of such substances. [HL1751]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

In 2000 the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC), the independent expert committee established to provide advice to Government on the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines, set up a sub-group to consider the safety and efficacy requirements for licensing antimicrobials in order to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance and to provide guidance for industry.

A report from this sub-group was published in January 2003. In that report the sub-group made a number of recommendations, including recommendations on the future regulation of all antimicrobial products, including ionophores. The full report is available on the VPC's website (www.vpc.gov.uk). The Government are considering the recommendations in this report.

I am not aware of any advice that the Government have received specifically relating to the risks of young children exceeding acceptable daily intakes of ionophores.

Dimetridazole and Narasin are no longer authorised for use as zootechnical feed additives for food-producing animals.

In March 2001 the Veterinary Residues Committee (VRC) established a sub-group to look at the risks from residues of medicinal and zootechnical feed additives (including ionophores) in meat and other food products. This sub-group has not yet provided any advice to government on these issues.