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EFSA reports 2014 data for veterinary drug residues in animals and food

26 May 2016  •  Author(s): Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has reported data that summarises the monitoring data from 2014 for a range of veterinary medicines, unauthorised substances and contaminants found in animals and animal-derived food.


The presence of unauthorised substances, residues of veterinary medicinal products or chemical contaminants in food may pose a risk factor for public health. The EU legislative framework defines maximum limits permitted in food and monitoring programmes for the control of the presence of these substances in the food chain. 

Overall, 730,000 samples were reported in 2014 – a drop from the 1 million plus samples in last year’s report on 2013 data – from the 28 EU Member States.

In 2014, the level of non-compliance in targeted samples (i.e. samples taken to detect illegal use or check non-compliance with the maximum levels) rose slightly  to 0.37% (1,558 cases), compared to 0.25%-0.34% over the previous seven years.

EFSA says there was slightly higher non-compliance for resorcylic acid lactones (hormonally active compounds produced by fungi or man-made) and contaminants such as metals and mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi).

The summary data reported suggest high rates of compliance overall and demonstrate the strengths of the EU monitoring system and its contribution to consumer protection.

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