Regulation of Chemicals in Feed

Introducing the concept of advisory levels of chemicals in feed

1. Pesticide residues

1.1 Background of Establishing MRLs

  • In 2003, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) introduced a “positive list” system for agricultural chemicals remaining in foods and established provisional maximum residue limits (MRLs) for chemicals whose MRLs have not been established. The agricultural chemicals include pesticides, feed additives and veterinary drugs.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) did not introduce the positive list system for pesticides remaining in feeds but established MRLs of 60 pesticides in feed to prevent pesticide residues in foods of animal origin exceeding the MRLs as foods.
  • The MAFF established MRLs of pesticides which:
    (i) we could confirm the significant transference from feed to animal tissues through animal feeding studies,
    (ii) were detected frequently in feed in surveillance/monitoring by the Government

1.2 Establishment of MRLs

  • In 2006, the MAFF established MRLs for major feed material such as corn, wheat and hay, considering the MRLs established by Codex, the MHLW and so on.
  • When we established MRLs, we have confirmed foods of animal origin do not exceed the MRLs as foods even if feeds that contain pesticide at the level equal to MRL were fed to livestock. We have considered the influence of residual pesticides in feed to livestock.

1.3 Reevaluation of MRLs

  • The MAFF also have proceeded the reevaluation of MRLs for feed based on the procedure of Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) and revises the MRLs if necessary.

2. Contaminants

  • To ensure animal health and safety of foods of animal origin, the MAFF sets maximum limits for harmful chemicals in feeds, in consultation with the Agricultural Materials Council.

2.1 Heavy metals

- Lead
- Cadmium
- Mercury
- Arsenic

2.2 Mycotoxins

- Aflatoxin B1
- Zearalenone
- Deoxynivalenol

2.3 Others

- Melamine

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