ITALY, Parma EFSA's data report summarises the monitoring data from 2014 on the presence of residues of veterinary medicinal products and certain substances in live animals and animal products in the European Union (EU).
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. Regulation (EU) No 37/2010 establishes maximum limits for residues of veterinary medicinal products in food-producing animals and animal products.
Maximum residue levels for pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin are laid down in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. Commission Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 lays down the maximum limits for the presence of certain contaminants in animal products. Council Directive 96/23/EC lays down measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof, mainly veterinary medicinal products, in live animals and animal products. Additionally, Commission Decision 97/747/EC lays down levels and frequencies of sampling for certain animal products.
In the framework of Article 31 of Regulation EC 178/2002, the European Commission (EC) asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
to produce an annual compilation of the monitoring results obtained under the provision of Council Directive 96/23/EC. Animal categories and animal products covered in the monitoring are: bovines, pigs, sheep and goats, horses, poultry, rabbit, farmed game, wild game, aquaculture, milk, eggs and honey.
Data were collected in aggregated form in a database managed by the European Commission (EC). Data collected in this form do not allow for an in-depth analysis. The limitations described in the previous EFSA reports (EFSA, 2010a, b, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) were still applicable in the present analysis. Therefore, the recommendations made with regard to the collection of data in the EFSA format similar to pesticides and contaminants data remain valid.
In 2014, 28 European Union (EU) Member States reported in the framework of the residue monitoring the results for 736,907 samples. A total of 425,232 targeted samples and 14,097 suspect samples were reported under Council Directive 96/23/EC. Additionally, 293,442, samples collected in the framework of other programmes developed under the national legislation and 4,136 samples checked at import were reported. The data analysis presented in this report was focused on the targeted samples reported under Council Directive 96/23/EC. Samples collected through other sampling strategies (suspect, import or ‘other’) do not follow a designed monitoring plan; therefore results on those samples were reported separately from the results on targeted samples.
The majority of Member States fulfilled the requirements for sampling frequency laid down in Council Directive 96/23/EC and in Commission Decision 97/747/EC.
There were 1,558 or 0.37% of non-compliant samples out of the 425,232 targeted samples in 2014.
For Group A, a low number of non-compliant samples were reported for stilbenes and derivatives (A1) in pigs (0.005%). For antithyroid agents (A2), there were 0.59% non-compliant samples, all for thiouracil, most likely due to feeding diets rich in cruciferous plants. In the group of steroids (A3), non-compliant samples (all for anabolic steroids) were found in bovines (0.06%), pigs (0.20%) and sheep and goats (0.10%). The relatively high percentage of non-compliant results in pigs was most likely the endogenous production. For corticosteroids, non-compliant results for authorised substances were reported under ‘other pharmacologically active substances’ (B2f) in 2014. In the group of resorcylic acid lactones (A4), 0.46% of the samples were non-compliant for zearalanone and derivatives; the non-compliant samples were found in bovines (0.72%), pigs (0.18%) and sheep and goats (0.89%). For beta-agonists (A5), there were 0.04% non-compliant samples reported in bovines only. Prohibited substances (A6) were found in 0.03% of samples. Substances identified were chloramphenicol (n = 12), nitroimidazoles (n = 4) and nitrofurans (n = 8).
For antibacterials (B1), 0.18% of the samples analysed under the Directive 96/23/EC monitoring were non-compliant. The highest frequency of non-compliant samples for antibacterials was found in honey (0.72%).
In group B2 (other veterinary drugs), the highest proportion of non-compliant samples was found for anticoccidials (B2b) (0.20%). For anticoccidials (B2b), the non-compliant samples were reported across the different species as follows; 0.02% for pigs, 0.11% for sheep and goats, 2.33% for horses, 0.20% for poultry, 0.41% for eggs, 0.71% for rabbits and 2.45% for farmed game. Since 2009, an important decrease has been observed in the frequency of non-compliant samples for anticoccidials (B2b) in poultry. This decrease in the frequency of non-compliant samples for anticoccidials (B2b) is most likely the result of the awareness and the measures that followed the implementation of the Commission Directive 2009/8/EC setting up maximum levels of unavoidable carry-over of coccidiostats in non-target feed.
For the other subgroups of B2, instances of non-compliance for anthelmintics (B2a) were reported in bovines (0.04%), pigs (0.03%), sheep and goats (0.21%), horses (0.54%) and milk (0.07%). For pyrethroids (B2c), non-compliant samples were reported for horses (0.78%) and honey (0.13%). Non-compliant samples were reported for sedatives (B2d) in pigs (0.03%). For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (B2e), non-compliant samples were found in bovines (0.26%), sheep and goats (0.39%), horses (0.51%), poultry (0.19%), milk (0.03%) and farmed game (1.39%). Non-compliant samples were reported for ‘other pharmacologically active substances’ (B2f), in bovines (0.23%), sheep and goats (0.34%) and poultry (0.14%).
In the group B3 (other substances and environmental contaminants), the chemical elements (B3c) had the highest overall percentage of non-compliant samples (5.41%), with cadmium, lead, mercury and copper being most frequently identified. Non-compliant samples were reported for organochlorine compounds (B3a) and organophosphorus compounds (B3b); 0.12% and 0.01%, respectively. For mycotoxins (B3d), there were non-compliant samples reported for bovines (5.78%), pigs (2.64%), horses (2.63%), poultry (1.04%), milk (0.33%) and farmed game (12.50%); with those identified being zearalenone and derivatives, ochratoxin A and aflatoxin M1. The prevalence of dyes (B3e) in aquaculture samples was slightly higher in 2014 (1.54%) compared to 2013 (1.14%), but within the range of values reported for 2007-2012 (1.5%–2.2%). The substances found were malachite green, leuco-malachite green and crystal violet. No non-compliant samples were noted for ‘other substances’ (B3f).
The overall frequency of non-compliant samples in 2014 (0.37%), was slightly higher compared to the previous 7 years (0.25%–0.34%). In 2014, increases in non-compliant samples were noted for resorcylic acid lactones (A4), chemical elements (B3c; mainly metals) and mycotoxins (B3d), compared to the previous 7 years. The lowest frequency of non-compliant samples for prohibited substances (A6), was reported in 2014, compared to the previous 7 years. For the other substance groups, there were no notable variations over the 8 years.
The sampling plans and the pattern of substances analysed are not necessarily the same every year and the prescribing patterns of veterinary medicines vary between species. Therefore, the outcome of the data analysis at EU level may not accurately reflect the residue situation in each individual EU Member State and for each species or product category.