12 July 2002

MPA hormone in animal feed

OVER 50 Dutch pig farms have been placed under supervision, following the discovery of an illegal growth hormone, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), in supplies of animal feed.

The contamination is believed to have occurred when a feed compounder bought a consignment of glucose syrup from a Belgian raw materials supplier, Bioland, which contained MPA.

According to the Belgian food standards agency, that company has already gone bust and investigations are under way to see if the contamination was deliberate.

EU vets were also discussing the incident as farmers weekly went to press on Wednesday. The feed is believed to have been sent to a number of other EU countries, including Germany, and live pigs from some of the Dutch farms have also been exported.

A Dutch ministry spokesman said that a number of the affected pigs had been destroyed, but for most it was a question of time before the hormone passed naturally out of their systems. &#42