UK: Baby food 'contaminated' with antibiotics and other drugs used to treat animals
Posted: May 24th, 2012 - 2:13pm
Source: Mail Online
Baby food may contain small amounts of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs used to treat animals.
The chemicals are particularly likely to be found in milk and chicken based foods.
The amounts of veterinary drugs are tiny, but scientists have called for regulation of the process to prevent any animal drugs being eaten by babies.
The European Commission regulates the levels of pesticides and other substances in cereal based foods for kids, but not in animal based foods.
Researchers have now created a method which can detect several drugs at a time in baby food to protect the health of children using milk powders and meat-based solid foods.
They analysed twelve meat products containing beef, pork or poultry, and nine milk powder samples using their 'multi-residue' method to see how many animal antibiotics are in baby food.
Results showed sulfonamides, which can cause blood and skin problems in people, macrolides, which can lead to muscle weakening and pyloric stenosis - severe vomiting - in kids, and other antibiotics were all present in the products.
University of Almerma, Spain, researchers also found anti-worm drugs like anthelmintics and fungicides in the food and powders they looked at.
In total, they discovered five veterinary drugs in milk powder and ten in meat products, particularly in chicken or other poultry.
Concentrations of the drugs vary from 0.5 to 25.2 5g/kg in the meat products and 1.2 to 26.25g/kg in the milk powders, although Prof Antonia
Garrido said: ‘with more samples, more conclusive results would be obtained.’
Writing for Food Chemistry they urge greater control to make sure food is safe for children and adults.
Prof Garrido said: ‘The concentrations detected have been generally very low. On one hand, this suggests they are not worrying amounts, on the other hand, it shows the need to control these products to guarantee food safety.’