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DAIRY PRODUCTS

FSSAI may bring animal feed under its purview in view of Aflatoxin M1
Friday, 29 November, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi 
FSSAI is actively considering to bring the subject of ‘animal feed’ under its purview, after the findings of the ‘National Milk Quality Survey,’ which found presence of Aflatoxin M1, a cancer causing toxin in many milk samples.

The FSSAI has made a recommendation to Ministry of Health in this regard to consider amendment into the FSS Act to bring the subject of ‘Animal Feed’ under FSSAI’s ambit.

The Ministry of Health is learnt to have accepted the proposal, which will bring the amendment for the approval of Parliament soon. 

Nearly 6 per cent samples of milk out of 6,432 were tested positive for presence of Aflatoxin M1. The toxin is produced by a fungi which is found in certain animal feed including maize, peanuts and cotton seeds.

The residue of Aflatoxin M1 remains present in milk which is a cause of worry and therefore the apex food regulator wants a control over the animal feed to reduce the chances of aflatoxin passing into milk.

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, stated that in most countries, the food regulator also controls the animal feed.

“Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has been writing to us to take control of animal feed. We already have proposals for amendment into the FSS Act, and this recommendation is also part of the proposal,” he said.

Agarwal explains that the main source of Aflatoxin M1 is animal feed. If not stored properly, it can develop moulds which when consumed by the animal becomes Aflatoxin M1 after coming in contact with animal’s digestive system.

He added, “There is no way you can remove Aflatoxin M1 from milk once it is there. Not even boiling helps. So it comes in milk and milk products and is very harmful. The only thing you can do is to take care of storage facilities of feed and fodder and take care of the quality of feed given to the animals.”

Simultaneously, he said, “Since the issue is so serious, we already had several rounds of meetings with the stakeholders to enable the system to immediately implement the provisions when the amendment passes through.” 

Currently, animal feed is not regulated and bringing it under FSSAI’s ambit will help in reducing the risk of contamination through animal feed.
 
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