Expert: Arsenic poses a safety hazard to feed additives

March 25, 2019

Experts worry about arsenic as a feed additive: this poses a hidden danger to food safety. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - Based on Feed, Serving Livestock

In response to the statement that the dead pig incident was related to the feed additive “arsenic”, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Press Office issued a response on the evening of 20th that the Shanghai Veterinary Feed Testing Institute collected 30 tissue samples from floating pigs salvaged from the Huangpu River and upstream waters. Arsenic detection was performed and no arsenic was detected in all samples. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The response further explained, “As of now, there is not enough scientific data to show that organic arsenic may be converted into inorganic arsenic in animals and in the environment, and there is not enough scientific data to prove that the rational use of organic arsenic feed additives will bring food. Safety risks.” 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

However, some experts still expressed concerns about arsenic as a feed additive. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Zhu Yi, an associate professor at the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering at China Agricultural University, said in an interview with this newspaper that although the dead pig incident is not related to organic arsenic feed additives, organic arsenic in pig manure can be converted into inorganic arsenic, polluting the environment and then entering the food chain. Injury to human health, the final ban of organic arsenic feed additives will be the general trend. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Some experts from the Feed Industry Center of the Ministry of Agriculture expressed concern about whether the existing inspection methods can accurately measure the arsenic residue data. "Because the quantitative qualitative detection of arsenic residues in food is complicated, high-density market animal products are not currently available. Arsenic residue detection, which poses a hidden danger to food safety." 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

A "double-edged sword" 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Our reporter inquired about relevant materials and interviews and learned that the addition of organic arsenic preparations to feeds is officially permitted in China and the United States. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

As early as 1964, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed Roscha arsenic to be used as feed for chickens; in 1983 it was officially approved as a growth promoter for pigs. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

China approved the use of oxalic acid in pigs in 1993 and the use of Roxarsone in 1996. After the arsenic preparations entered China in lawful status, many agricultural university professors in China have studied the nutritional effects of arsenic supplements on livestock. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Based on a number of papers found by the reporter in the database, the main role of arsenic is to promote the growth of livestock and poultry and improve the intestinal tract. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In June 2001, the “Guidelines for the Use of Feed Drug Additives” promulgated by the Ministry of Agriculture of China, the use of the organic arsenic preparation ammonia arsenic acid premix and the rassacarpine premix as a pharmaceutical additive were allowed. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The above-mentioned usage specifications require that the name, content, scope of application, withdrawal period regulations and precautions of the veterinary drug ingredients contained in the label of the feed product be indicated. Deliberately put forward that "the laying hens of the laying hens are banned; the drug withdrawal period is 5 days." 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

There are also scientific experiments to prove the side effects of arsenic. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Professor Zhang Liying from the Feed Industry Center of the Ministry of Agriculture also mentioned that arsenic poisoning in livestock mainly manifests as loss of appetite, weight loss, paralysis, constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes various types of dermatitis appear, and some livestock may even die. The paper quoted the experimental data of Tian Yunbo, the director of the Science and Technology Department of Zhongkai Agricultural Engineering College and the doctoral tutor in 2000. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

"Although I have not continued to study this direction, the research data and conclusions were accurate at the time," Tian Yunbo said in an interview with this reporter. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Zhang Liying's paper mentioned that in recent years, many feed manufacturers have emphasized the growth-promoting and anti-disease effects of organic arsenic preparations, and the organic arsenic preparations can make the animal skin rosy misleading, resulting in the application of organic arsenic agents. Widely, the amount of additives is increasing, so the residual arsenic in the corresponding animal products is worrying. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

It is also mentioned that due to the complexity of quantitative and qualitative detection of arsenic residues in food, high-density arsenic residues in animal products are not yet available, which poses a hidden danger to food safety. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Another hidden danger comes from the pollution of arsenic to the environment. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

"As an organic arsenic feed additive for growth promoters, the absorption rate in pigs is low, 80% to 90% is quickly discharged through the excrement in the original form, and legal use is not toxic to pigs," Professor Zhu Yi said in an interview with this newspaper. “But it should be noted that organic arsenic in pig manure can be converted to inorganic arsenic, polluting the environment, and then entering the food chain to harm human health.” 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Not much use in practice? 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In order to understand whether the use of organic arsenic preparations in the pig breeding process, Zhu Yi also specifically called some professional pig farmers, "the use of arsenic preparation feed to raise pigs is quite small, pollution-free pigs are not allowed to use arsenic preparations. The feed is fed. And if the amount of organic arsenic is exceeded by the Ministry of Agriculture, pigs will be poisoned and died, and pig farmers will not take such a big risk." 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

A professional pig farmer who produces 10,000 pigs a year in Zhejiang told reporters that the feeds purchased by small pig farmers are standard on the market. The feeds of large farmers are usually equipped with their own, and generally do not put additives. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

A small pig professional in a city in Jiangxi Province said that it is now directly bought feed from the feed factory to feed. As for what ingredients are contained in it, whether or not the additive is banned is “unclear”. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Zhang Hongfu, director of the China Feed Industry Association, said in an interview with this newspaper that feed enterprises of a certain size will not step on the red line, but professional pig farmers may go to the veterinary drug store to buy some veterinary drugs and add them to the feed. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Even so, Zhu Yi still pointed out that if banned arsenic still has an impact on the environment. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

On May 18, 2011, the “China Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Newspaper”, headed by the Ministry of Agriculture, published an article entitled “The Organic Fertilizer Preparations Have Been Exited from the Feed Additive Industry”. “At present, developed countries are very concerned about the pollution of arsenic. The largest poultry producer in the United States stopped using arsenic-containing additives in 2004, and the European Union has long announced the ban of feed additives containing arsenic. In China, organic arsenic preparations are still widely used as growth promoters. Compounds, now 'teachers' have realized that its harm is banned, as students continue to insist on." 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

“The EU has long since been banned. In 2004, Tyson, the largest poultry producer in the United States, announced its suspension. McDonald’s also requires suppliers not to use organic arsenic feed additives.” Zhu Yi said that the final ban of organic arsenic feed additives will be the general trend. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

She further explained that the pollution-free pig breeding in the Ministry of Agriculture of China has listed the most commonly used organic arsenic preparation, Roxarsone, as a banned product. Organic arsenic feed additives are not associated with pig death, but are closely related to environmental arsenic contamination. 4py China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

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