A potential ban on zinc oxide (ZnO) in the European Union is likely to meet a lot of opposition from countries like e.g. the United Kingdom and Denmark.
Pig Progress reports that the additive may be on its way out in the European Union after an EU advisory body recommended to withdraw the permission to use the feed additive.
This is because the additive can harm the environment. In addition, the use of ZnO is also said to be related to the increase of prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although that risk is not quantifiable.
Chief consultant Poul Baekbo, of Danish agricultural research organisation SEGES VSP, told a Dutch agricultural newspaper that he hopes for a transition period, which would allow to search for alternatives. Never before has the EU applied such a period. In Denmark, ZnO is used often as a non-antibiotic solution to combat diarrhoea.
The UK’s National Pig Association already announced that it will fight a ZnO ban if indeed the European Commission will go on to accept the EMA recommendation. “It would also significantly hamper the pig sector’s drive to reduce antibiotic usage.”