29 March 2002

Rest of antibiotics due for chop

THE four remaining antibiotics used in the EU as growth promoters in animal feed are to be phased out.

New commission proposals call for a ban on the use of monensin sodium, salinomycin sodium, avilamycin and flavophospholipol by January 2006.

The move is a continuation of existing EU policy to reduce exposure to antibiotics, to combat the threat to human and animal health posed by the build up of anti-microbial resistance.

"This fulfils my commitment to the European Parliament in September 1999," said food safety commissioner, David Byrne. "We have all learned the prime importance of safe animal feed during the food crises of the recent past."

The new proposals also pave the way for stricter rules on the licensing of other feed additives, such as flavourings, vitamins and preservatives. Existing products will have to be submitted for re-authorisation within seven years. &#42

while all new products will only be cleared for ten years.