22 July 1997
Food 99% clear of medicine residues
FOODS tested for veterinary medicine residues were 99.2% clear, according to a new report released by the government today.
Results from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate shows that out of 39,000 food samples tested, under the VDMs random surveillance programme, some 38,700 (99.2%) were free of residues.
The Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) committee said only 93 (0.24%) samples were above the maximum residue limit with a further 208 (0.53%) containing residues below the threshold.
Results from the 1996-97 survey confirm that the UK continues to have an excellent record of negligible or nil residue levels of veterinary medicines found in humans, the report says.
The VMD found no evidence of farmers using banned synthetic steroids or clenbuterol in live or slaughtered animals.
Reports of suspected adverse reactions (SARs) in humans also fell from 208 in 1995-96 to 133 in 1996-97. Nine of these related to organophosphorus (OP) sheep dips.
The Veterinary Products Committee reviewed OP sheep dips during the year and concluded that: Provided they are used safely and in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, there is no scientific justification for withdrawing OP sheep dips from the market.
The VMD, however, was among a number of bodies to receive writs during the year in actions for damages against manufacturers arising out of ill health symptoms claimed to be linked with the use of OP sheep dips.