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EFSA Proposal: Feed Vitamin A Could Risk Deficiency

by 5m Editor
18 September 2009, at 9:54am

EU - The UK's National Pig Association (NPA) is calling on European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) to re-consider its latest proposal on maximum vitamin A levels in pig feeds.

The NPA explains that to protect consumers, EFSA has proposed new maximum levels of vitamin A in animal feed.

The revised maximum levels (IU vitamin A per kg) suggested by the agency are as follows: piglets, 16,000; fattening pigs 6,500; gestating sows, 12,000 and lactating sows, 7,000.

NPA has consulted experts within its membership (nutritionists, scientists and vets) on vitamin A levels required for each growth stage in pigs. The consensus view is as follows (IU vitamin A per kg):

  • Young piglets (up to 20 kg): 10,000–15,000
  • Early growers (20-30 kg): 10,000–12,000
  • Growers (30-50 kg): 7,500–10,000
  • Finishers (50-100 kg): 7,500–10,000
  • Gestating sows: 8,000–10,000, and
  • Lactating sows 10,000-12,000.

"There are some significant disparities between what is proposed and what is applied in commercial practice," wrote NPA's Dr Zoe Davies in a letter to the European Commission's health and consumer department.

"In particular grower/finisher pigs and lactating sows might experience sub-optimal bone growth and calcium metabolism if the new levels were applied over a long period."

She is calling on Brussels to carry out a more rigorous review of vitamin A levels, using recent studies to identify gaps in knowledge and to ascertain the true vitamin A requirements of modern pig genotypes.