10 April 2000
Internet animal feed under scrutiny

By FWi staff

THE Food Standards Agency has warned the feed industry against using the Internet as a means of getting around restrictions on ingredients in animal feed.

At the moment, it is uncertain which national law applies when farmers in one country buy feedstuffs on the Internet from a supplier in another country.

Following the BSE crisis, Britain introduced some of the strictest rules in Europe governing exactly what farmers are allowed to use as ingredients in animal feed.

Some producers may be tempted to get round the rules by purchasing feed from other countries using the Internet, suggested Radio 4s Farming Today programme.

Suzie Leather, deputy chairwoman of the Food Standards Agency, said the practise would draw the attention of the agencys officials if it became widespread.

“If Internet sales are being used as ways of undermining the current, very extensive, controls on composition and marketing of animal feedstuffs, we would be concerned,” she said.

The agency is responsible for checking the quality of the ingredients and additives, including residues used in animal feed, said Ms Leather.

“We would want to know that any Internet sales were abiding by all those rules.”

Local authorities are examining various e-commerce Internet sites to make sure that all sales of animal feeds are legitimate, she added.