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Annual Report of Veterinary Residues Committee

UK - The third annual report of the independent Veterinary Residues Committee has been published.

Annual Report of Veterinary Residues Committee - UK - The third annual report of the independent Veterinary Residues Committee has been published.

The annual report of the Veterinary Residues Committee summarises the results from samples of home produced animals and animal products, and imported products, which were collected throughout 2003. The report contains a description of the VRC's activities in its third year and its conclusions on the results from the samples.

Mrs Dorothy Craig MBE, acting chairman of the VRC, said:

"The 2003 results of surveillance for residues of veterinary medicines and certain other substances in foods produced in the UK were broadly in line with those of last year. They demonstrate that consumers can remain confident that the food they buy for themselves and their families is safe, taking account of the incidence and concentrations of the residues detected.

Residues of malachite green and leucomalachite green were detected in domestically produced farmed salmon and trout. In 2002, Defra made clear that the use of malachite green in farmed fish was not acceptable and must stop. While the proportion of salmon positives was lower in 2003 than in 2002, the Committee wish to see firm evidence that all use has stopped.

The Committee was disappointed in the progress in reducing the incidence and concentrations of feed additive residues, such as lasalocid and nicarbazin, in poultry products. While the VRC was reassured that this was a contamination issue, rather than a food-safety issue, the VRC wishes to see the residues decrease and will continue to work to this end.

The Committee remains concerned that banned substances continue to be found in samples of imported foods - chiefly chicken, honey and warm-water prawns from South East Asia and South America. In 2003, the VRC maintained its recommendation to target particular imported foods where it considered likely that such residues would be found. The VRC would like to have sufficient resources to investigate a wider range of imported foods in future years.

The VRC welcomes the veterinary surveillance results supplied by a major retailer. We hope that others will follow their example in 2004."

The annual report can be viewed on the VRC's website www.vet-residues-committee.gov.uk. It can also be obtained free of charge. The full set of results of analyses undertaken can also be viewed on the VRC's or Veterinary Medicine Directorate's website.

Source: Defra - 8th September 2004

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