Procedure for setting regulatory limits for contaminants in feed

The scientific risk assessment is an assessment of the risks related to the presence of a contaminant in feed for animals or to human health and is the basis for the measures to be taken. In this scientific assessment the toxic exposure level is determined above which harmful animal health effects can occur in different animal species. Animal species are neither universally nor uniformly sensitive to particular toxins, so the toxic exposure level can differ significantly from one animal species to another. To assess the risks of the presence of a contaminant in feed for human health, the carryover of the undesirable substance from feed into food of animal origin, e.g., meat, edible offal, milk, eggs, etc., is assessed, where possible quantitatively. The contribution of the presence of the contaminant in food of animal origin to the total human exposure also is assessed.

The animal exposure assessment also enables the identification of the feeds/feed groups that contribute significantly to the exposure. An appropriate maximum level to protect animal and public health is determined from the occurrence data in these feeds and feed groups following the application of good agricultural and management practices. Maximum levels are set at a strict level that is reasonably achievable when following good agricultural, fishery and manufacturing practices and taking into account the risk related to the consumption of the feed or the corresponding animal product. Such an approach ensures that feed business operators apply measures to prevent and reduce the contamination as much as possible to protect both animal and human health.

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