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Antimicrobial Treatment Draws EU Concern

by 5m Editor
8 April 2008, at 1:30pm

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - EU poultry producers and their cooperatives at COPA-COGECA have responded unfavorably to a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion released last week that made light of the possible effects of four antimicrobial treatment substances.

COPA-COGECA have said they are concerned about the emergence of antimicrobial resistance when using these substances in the treatment of their poultry meat and have warned that the authorisation of such practises would undermine their efforts to produce high quality poultry meat.


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"Just because the Americans want it, are we supposed to accept meat produced according to lower standards?"
Pekka PESONEN, Secretary General of COPA-COGECA

In the EU, poultry producers indeed comply with highly demanding and costly rules to control salmonella on the farm but also to respect a high level of broilers’ welfare. On the contrary, in the US, on-farm requirements are very limited and the meat has to be treated with chemicals like chlorine dioxide in slaughterhouses to reduce the presence of salmonella. Such poultry meat has not been allowed to enter the European market until now. However, the Americans are now requesting that the EU authorise this kind of practices so as to sell their meat in Europe.

Pekka PESONEN, Secretary General of COPA-COGECA, asked: “Just because the Americans want it, are we supposed to accept meat produced according to lower standards? Are we supposed to put our philosophy of on-farm salmonella control behind us and allow chemically-treated meat to be sold to consumers while there are still “uncertainties” over the possible occurrence of acquired reduced susceptibility to biocides and/or resistance to therapeutic antimicrobials?”

European poultry producers would not understand why they have to comply with such high standards at farm level if ultimately European consumers are sold chlorine-bleached meat. “The Commission should be consistent and support the European way of producing poultry meat instead of permitting production methods that go against its own philosophy”, concluded the Secretary General.

Further Reading

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5m Editor