Mycotoxins can harm animals, which is why we’ve outlined 8 reasons to protect your animals using broad spectrum protection. Both the European Union and China have defined maximum tolerated levels of certain mycotoxins in feed. The EU has placed strict regulations for the maximum tolerated level of aflatoxins, and provided guideline levels for other mycotoxins.
In China, authorities have defined maximum guidance levels for aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, ochratoxin A, zearalenone, T-2 toxin and patulin in food and feed to protect human and animal health. (For more on regulation of mycotoxin levels, visit www.mycotoxins.info/en/regulations).
The need to protect animals from the harms caused by mycotoxins has made the use of mycotoxin deactivating feed additives commonplace in animal feed production.
In many countries, there are literally hundreds of commercially available mycotoxin detoxifiers to choose from, each with their own product claims, ingredients and varying degrees of effectiveness. As a buyer, how do you know which of them work?
Purchasing a product that is not effective would be a waste of money. Even worse, some binders, for instance, also bind vitamins and nutrients in the feed—meaning that you pay to get worse feed quality—and therefore poorer animal performance. So it’s important to know how to choose the right product.
In some markets, such as the European Union, some official authorities have decided to impose requirements to ensure quality, efficacy and to protect purchasers. In fact, the EU has already adopted state-of-the-art methods to evaluate additives using the EURL method (described in more detail here).
In other markets, the need to implement such regulations is becoming increasingly recognized. China is starting to recognize this problem as well, and authorities are in the process of outlining a regulation that will probably have a lot in common with the EU. Within this context, the MyToolBox platform provides a framework where farmers, feed producers and industry can interact with scientists and authorities to tackle the mycotoxin issue in a smart and sustainable way.
Following a recent summit in Beijing, the MyToolBox team released a position paper that looks at how the EU and China regulate mycotoxin deactivators. Here we highlight a few key points.
2009—a breakthrough year
The turning point in both markets was 2009. It marked the introduction of a new functional group of additives —‘substances for reduction of the contamination of feed by mycotoxins’— in the EU, and a series of measures in China that led to the formation of China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment two years later.
Regulation of mycotoxin deactivators
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) is responsible for conducting the evaluation of requests for authorization of products seeking mycotoxin deactivation claim status. If the opinion of EFSA on safety and efficacy of the additive is positive, the European Commission can grant the final authorization of the product for specific animal species, under specific conditions of use for 10 years.
In China there is currently no regulation on use of mycotoxin detoxifiers as a feed additives—though the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is currently working on a regulation for Risk Assessment of Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has planned to establish a national research center for risk assessment of quality and safety of agricultural products.
Evaluation of mycotoxin deactivators
In Europe, EFSA conducts the scientific evaluation of mycotoxin deactivating compounds. Feed additive producers requesting EU authorization have to submit a dossier to the EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP). Results have to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a mycotoxin-deactivating product, through a significant improvement in the most relevant parameters such as excretion of toxin and/or metabolites, toxin/metabolite levels in blood and tissues, levels of biomarkers of exposure or the presence in products destined for human consumption such as eggs or milk.
In China, the MOA and CAAS are in charge of creating a plan to establish risk assessment parameter for the evaluation of mycotoxin deactivating product. No official legislation is currently in place. In 2013, the MOA commissioned CAAS to initiate a 5-year project, entitled “Mycotoxin Detoxifying Feed Additives Evaluation Standard Researching”. The project includes a survey of mycotoxin detoxifiers in the Chinese market, comparing methodologies and evaluating the efficiency of the mycotoxin detoxifying feed additives both in vitro and in vivo.
A valuable tool for the agriculture industry
Official recognition of the safety and effectiveness of a mycotoxin deactivation product can help buyers to navigate the multitude of products on offer, and offers reassurance that the investment in a mycotoxin risk management solution is money well spent.