Establishment of Risk Management Measures for Antimicrobial Feed Additives
Antimicrobial feed additives are important to keep producing safe food, however, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria have a risk to affect human health through livestock products. Risk management measures based on the risk assessments are needed to minimize the risk. Concerning additives used for food animals, the Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) in the Cabinet Office has been performing risk assessments concerning the effects of antimicrobial resistant bacteria through food on humans since 2013.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) formulated risk management measures to reduce risk due to results of additives by FSCJ. According to the measures, the designation of additives rescinded (with a set period of extension as necessary), were estimated to have risk above a low level. That is a more severe restrictive measure than the Risk Management of Veterinary Antimicrobial Medicines. It seems to be related to the strengthening of regulation for additives internationally, such as the prohibition of using antibiotics for promoting growth in the EU in 2006, and the request to the industry to discontinue the use of important antibiotics for promoting growth independently. Furthermore, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is due to amend the code of practice for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the Ad hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on AMR. In fact, the rate of countries which prohibit the use of additives for promoting growth has risen to 74% according to OIE Survey 2017. Nine substances including monensin sodium have already been evaluated as ‘negligible risk.’ Four substances including anprolium have been evaluated as ‘no possibility to select resistant bacteria’ on past risk assessments of additives. However, virginiamycin and colistin are due to be prohibited because they were judged as ‘medium risk’.