Unit Feed and Feed Additives

Feed must always be safe and must not pose a threat to the health of animals. Equally, it must be ensured that both food products of animal origin (e.g. milk, meat, eggs, fish, honey) and the processed products made from them are safe and do not constitute a health risk for consumers.

Food products that are not safe may not be brought into circulation. Equally, feed may not be fed to animals if it is to be assumed that this might impair the health of humans or animals or have an adverse effect on animal production. Feed safety therefore plays a key role in food safety.

The main working fields of Unit 84 are, firstly, the assessment of the safety of feed and feed additives for humans and animals as well as, secondly, the assessment of undesirable substances/contaminants in feed and food.

The working area "feed safety" mainly  comprises:

  • Toxicological evaluation and risk assessment of undesirable substances in feed
  • Quantification and assessment of the transfer  of undesirable substances from feed to food products obtained from animals (including the performance of the necessary tests on agricultural livestock on BfR's own experimental farm)
  • Toxicological evaluation and assessment of additives in animal nutrition under the approval procedure pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 1831/2003

    Additives are added to feed in order to influence the texture of feed or animal products, to cover the requirements of the animals for certain nutrients and active substances, or to improve livestock production. Feed additives may only be brought into circulation, processed or used in the EU if a safety assessment has been conducted and the relevant approval has been issued. According to EU law, there are currently around 2,800 substances and preparations that are approved as feed additives and listed in a public register.

In its work in the field of feed safety, the Unit is supported by the BfR Committee for Feed and Animal Nutrition.

The main areas of activity in the field of "contaminants in the food chain" are the  following:

  • Toxicological evaluation and risk assessment of (selected) contaminants in the food chain
  • Drafting of expert reports and opinions on the contamination of food and feed as part of the advisory services provided to federal and regional authorities.

In its work in the field of contaminants in the food chain, the Unit is supported by the BfR Committee for Contaminants and other Undesirable Substances in the Food Chain.

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