Scientific Opinion on safety and efficacy of zinc compounds (E6) as feed additive for all animal species: Zinc oxide, based on a dossier submitted by Grillo Zinkoxid GmbH/EMFEMA

Nutritional additive, compounds of trace elements, zinc, zinc oxide, safety, environment, efficacy
First published in the EFSA Journal
23 November 2012
15 November 2012
Scientific Opinion

Zinc oxide is a safe source of zinc for all animal species and no concerns for consumer safety are expected from the use of zinc oxide in animal nutrition, considering the maximum contents for total zinc in feedingstuffs set by EU legislation. Zinc oxide is not an irritant to skin and eyes; it is not a skin sensitiser. The zinc oxide under application is considered a compound with high dusting potential, which may result in a critical exposure of users by inhalation, affecting the respiratory system. The authorised use of zinc oxide as a feed additive does not pose a direct concern for the agricultural soil compartment. However, there is a potential environmental concern related to groundwater, drainage and the run-off of zinc to surface water. Acid sandy soils are most vulnerable to these processes. In order to draw a final conclusion, some further refinement to the assessment of zinc-based feed additives in livestock needs to be considered, for which additional data would be required. The use of zinc-containing additives in aquaculture up to maximum authorised zinc level in feeds is not expected to pose an appreciable risk to the environment. Zinc oxide is efficacious in meeting animal zinc requirements.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Gabriele Aquilina, Alex Bach, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria De Lourdes Bastos, Gerhard Flachowsky, Josep Gasa-Gasó, Mikolaj Gralak, Christer Hogstrand, Lubomir Leng, Secundino López-Puente, Giovanna Martelli, Baltasar Mayo, Derek Renshaw, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Kristen Sejrsen, Patrick Van Beelen, Robert John Wallace and Johannes Westendorf.
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal 2012;10(11):2970
Question Number
On request from
European Commission