FEEDSTUFFS CONTAINING organic selenium were withdrawn from sale last week due to changes after it emerged the sale and use of organic selenium is not permitted as it does not have the appropriate EU registration.

Previously, organic selenium was classed as a feed material and as such didn”t require registration, but under EU rules introduced last year it was re-classified as a feed additive, meaning it required EU registration.

As a result of information regarding the supply of organic selenium, in the form of the product Sel-Plex, to UK feed manufacturers, the Food Standards Agency has warned feed manufacturers that the sale and use of organic selenium is not permitted, explained a spokesman.

“But a risk assessment has been carried out and there is unlikely to be any significant food safety risk,” he added.

Jem Clay of Alltech, supplier of leading organic selenium product Sel-plex, says his company is working hard to ensure the product is back on the market as soon as possible. “This has been caused by a change in the regulatory status of organic selenium. But we have a dossier with the EU for evaluation at the present time.”

While it is difficult to quantify what the withdrawal of these products will mean to UK producers, SAC vet investigation officer Colin Mason says selenium deficiency can be implicated in a range of problems, including white muscle disease, reduced immune status and in some cases infertility.

“However, other methods of supplementation exist, including injectable selenium and controlled release boluses. But these should be discussed with the farm”s vet before use,” he adds.