DRUG MAKERS SAY EU BAN ON FEED DRUGS
A European Commission proposal to ban the use of
four antibiotics in animal feed would make meat more
expensive, damage the environment and distort
competition, European drug manufacturers said last
"The loss of these duly authorised and beneficial
products will have a significant adverse impact on the
environment and livestock production," animal health
lobby FEDESA said in a statement, calling the move
A majority of European Union scientists on
Wednesday backed a Commission proposal to ban
the use of four antibiotics in animal feed over fears
the drugs were becoming less effective in treating
The ban, if approved, would hit four multinational drug
manufacturers including France's Rhone-Poulenc and
Pfizer of the United States, costing them millions of
EU farm ministers are likely to approve the ban when
they meet on December 14 and it would then enter
into force from July 1, 1999, EU diplomats have said.
The four drugs - Bacitracin Zinc, Spiramycin, Virginia
Mycin and Tylosin Phosphate - are added in minute
quantities to feedstuffs for pigs and poultry to boost
meat yields by keeping animals healthy and
Without these drugs the EU's pig, poultry and cattle
population would produce an extra 78,000 tonnes of
nitrates and an additional 15,000 tonnes of
phosphates a year, both of which pollute the
environment, FEDESA said.
It said the use of antibiotics reduced the excretion of
these chemicals. The proposed ban would cause
other problems, FEDESA said. Cost savings made
by farmers in using the drugs would be wiped out
overnight and meat prices for consumers would
This would make the European meat industry less
competitive on world markets, where third country
producers would not be subject to the same ban, it
But the Commission said public health must come
before farmers' incomes. "We cannot put economic
considerations before the protection of public health
nor can there be any trade-off between the two,"
Commission spokesman Gerry Kiely said.
The ban would, in any case, be reviewed in two years
and the Commission would be considering other
protective measures after its scientific steering
committee had finished its work, he added.
(C) Reuters Limited 1998.
craig k harris
department of sociology
michigan state university
429b berkey hall
east lansing michigan 48824-1111
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command