A recent article by New Food magazine has reported that UK government ministers may be willing to sacrifice food standards for post Brexit trade agreements with non-EU states such as the USA. Food policy experts from the University of Sussex and City University of London uncovered that, should the UK’s food standards be weakened, there is a possibility of multiple varieties of drug residues such as growth promoters or hormones entering the county’s meat supply.
In 1981, the EU prohibited the use of hormonal substances for growth promotion in farm animals. Examples of these growth promoters include zeranol and trenbolone. The risks to human health from hormone residues in bovine meat and meat products was re-evaluated in 1999 by the former Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health. The scientific study concluded that no acceptable daily intake could be established for any of the tested growth promotion hormones. The prohibition applies to EU member states and imports from third countries, Directive 96/22/EC as amended by Directive 2003/74/EC.
Whilst hormone produced beef is illegal in the EU, global antibiotic use is predicted to rise by 67 percent between 2010 and 2030, doubling in China, India, Brazil and Russia as consumer demand for meat increases. Regulated hormone use is permitted in cattle rearing by US, Canadian, Mexican and Australian authorities.
As the need for vital screening continues to increase, Randox Food Diagnostics are leading the way in developing reliable and economic testing methods to monitor drug residues in meat. Utilising Biochip Array Technology capabilities the Growth Promoter Multiple Matrix array detects for several growth promoters in meat, including the USDA approved test for ractopamine. The array is designed for urine and tissue sample types.