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NPA Calls for Rethink on Vitamin A

by 5m Editor
11 September 2009, at 9:22am

UK - To protect consumers, the European Food Standards Agency has proposed new maximum levels of vitamin A in animal feed.

The revised maximum levels suggested by the agency are as follows (IU vitamin A kg-1).

Piglets 16,000.
Fattening pigs 6,500.
Gestating sows 12,000.
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:

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

"There are some significant disparities between what is proposed and what is applied in commercial practice," says 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 suboptimal 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.