AGP feedback

19-10-2006 | |
Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor

The European Union forced the total ban on the use of ‘Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs) not the industry. But how do nutritionists feel about it. A survey found that in Russia and the Ukraine only a third of nutritionists did not even know the ban was coming!

Before the total ban on antibiotics came into effect on 1 January 2006, some antibiotics were already banned. Producers who used these products had the option to switch to an alternative AGP that was still permitted, while some producers stopped using AGPs completely.
This ban was forced by the EU, and not by the agricultural industry.
I am therefore very interested in how nutritionists feel about the recent implementation of the total ban in the European Union? There are no AGPs to fall back on anymore, so good luck!
Animal nutritionists asked for their reactions to the ban
The best way to find out how the industry reacts to this is simply to ask them. Master students from the University College in Dublin did just that, calling 700 animal nutritionists from 12 countries to gain a good insight into European opinions on the topic and to pose the important question: how will purchasers change their behaviour as a result of the ban?
As far as I know, such an extended survey has never before been conducted, in spite of the importance of understanding the industry’s opinion about significant issues such as the AGP ban. It seems that the people in Brussels don’t care.
Two out of three nutritionists aware of EU legislation
From the questionnaire it was noted, for example, that in Russia and the Ukraine, approximately two out of every three nutritionists were aware of the new legislation (one third did not even know the ban was coming!).
In the other ten countries approximately nine out of ten nutritionists knew the ban was approaching. Should every country not know about the new legislation?
Russian / Urkrainian nutritionists ill-informed about AGP ban
One of the reasons that the respondents in Russia and the Ukraine were not all aware of the new legislation could be the way the ban has been communicated by the government and companies involved in implementing the new rules.
UK nutritionists least likely to agree with total ban
Also remarkable was the fact that nutritionists in the UK are the least likely to agree with a total ban. Nutritionists in the Czech Republic on the other hand are the most likely to be in agreement with a total ban, followed by those in France and Turkey. It seems that Europe is still not feeling the same about the ban.

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