Carcinogenic PCB varnishes found in animal feed: a serious health hazard for us humans?

Carcinogenic PCB varnishes found in animal feed: a serious health hazard for us humans?

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Poultry farms blocked due to PCB in feed: danger for consumers?

Numerous poultry farms in Germany were banned because they received feed containing toxic "non-dioxin-like PCBs" (ndl-PCBs). Is there now a health risk for consumers?

Animal feed contaminated by paint chips

Several poultry farms in Germany have been banned because they received feed that was contaminated with a poison. "The contamination of animal feed with non-dioxin-like PCB (ndl-PCB) was caused by paint chips in the storage containers of a North Rhine-Westphalian feed manufacturer," wrote the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection North Rhine-Westphalia (LANUV) in a message. Is there now a health risk for consumers?

Investigations are still ongoing

According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the affected feed from North Rhine-Westphalia has been delivered to companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Hesse according to current knowledge.

Fattening poultry, pullet rearing and laying hen farms are affected.

"According to the information currently available, all affected companies in the federal states have been blocked," said the BMEL.

"According to reports from the responsible authorities, the farms concerned should remain blocked until the final test results on consumer eggs and poultry meat are available. The investigations in the federal states are still ongoing. "

In Lower Saxony, the blocking of some companies by negative samples has now been lifted, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (LAVES) said.

Toxicological properties

As the LAVES explains on its website, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are a group of 209 different congeners, which can be divided into two categories according to their toxicological properties:

"Some congeners have toxicological properties that are similar to those of dioxins, which is why they are often referred to as" dioxin-like PCBs "(" dl-PCBs ")," said the experts.

And: "The other PCBs have a completely different toxicological profile, which is not similar to that of dioxins, and are therefore referred to as" non-dioxin-like PCBs "(" ndl-PCBs ")."

Ndl-PCB accumulate in the adipose tissue

Can these substances be dangerous for us?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which had been addressing the potential dangers posed by non-dioxin-like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) to human health years ago, said in an earlier communication that ndl-PCB "generally mainly affects the adipose tissue of the enrich human body through food intake ".

According to the experts, 90 percent of the burden on humans can be attributed to food intake.

At the time, the experts found in an investigation that ndl-PCB are neither genotoxic nor carcinogenic.

However, they also pointed out that the long-term health effects of ndl-PCB, especially in heavily stressed and vulnerable population groups, are difficult to assess.

No acute health risk

According to the North Rhine-Westphalian LANUV, the PCB concentration found does not pose an acute health risk, reports the consumer center.

However, the maximum level for PCB in poultry meat and eggs must not be exceeded.

Only when the limit values ​​are not exceeded are the blocked companies allowed to sell their products again.

Confiscated remains of the contaminated feed would be destroyed according to the LANUV. (ad)

Author and source information

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