Feed undesirable substances as food contaminants
Part 2: Dioxins
This work focuses on another outstanding toxic substance of the Community legislation, namely dioxins. Concerning dioxins, the historical background for certain pollution incidents with animal feeds as potential food contaminants is briefly given, arriving at the dioxin episode in Belgium. Reference is also made to legislative tools available at Community level to tackle the dioxin problem and the difficulties involved in practice, particularly with feeds of marine origin. Furthermore, the environmental implications associated with dioxin pollution of animal feeds are explained, whereas the political will, required in preventing and solving contamination problem in practice, is also stressed.
This article constitutes the second part of an account dedicated to feed toxic substances as precursors of food contaminants. Part 1 dealt with mycotoxins (30). The transfer of chemicals from feed to animal products, as well as the risk of food contamination by toxic substances present in animal feed, had been documented (1, 2). Toxic substances such as dioxins, mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, veterinary drugs are almost ubiquitous in the environment. In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the risk of consumers posed by toxic substances or residues in animal feeds. This was caused by various animal products contaminated by environmental pollutants. The best-known examples include contamination of animal products with dioxin as a result of industrial activities. In addition, animal feed has been found adulterated with hormones, antibiotics, dioxins and other chemicals either deliberately or from malpractice, or from sloppy manufacturing practices. The use of pesticides is an example of controlled “contamination” of crops which might reach the consumer.
Various researchers have reported the grouping of undesir ...