20 October 1998
EU to restrict antibiotic use in animal feed

THE European Commission (EC) plans to restrict the use of some antibiotics in animal feed after fears have been expressed over the risk to human health.

But Franz Fischler, the farm commissioner, declined to implement a complete ban on the grounds that it could not be justified.

The EC is going ahead with the restriction, even though it will not have the final results of tests on beef hormones by May of next year. This was the deadline imposed by the World Trade Organisation on the EU to comply with a ruling that a ban on beef hormones was unjustified.

Mr Fischler said the Commission would have only interim conclusions by next May. He said it was not possible to judge the results of the scientific studies into six hormones, and it was too early to start talking about compliance measures.

The Commission announced its plans for antibiotic restrictions after calls by Denmark, Sweden and Finland for a ban on the use of all antibiotic growth promoters in animal feed.

  • Financial Times 20/10/98 page 7