Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of Friedland clay (montmorillonite–illite mixed layer clay) when used as technological additive for all animal species
Friedland clay is typically composed of the major constituents montmorillonite, illite, quartz and kaolin. Based on a series of studies in chickens for fattening, sows, dairy cows and cattle for fattening, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) concludes that 20 000 mg Friedland clay/kg complete feed is safe for these target species/categories and extends this conclusion to all animal species. A margin of safety cannot be determined. The use of Friedland clay as an additive in animal nutrition would not give rise to safety concerns for consumers. When handling the product, users may be exposed to harmful substances in Friedland clay (crystalline silica), particularly by inhalation. Measures must be taken to limit exposure of users to dust. In the absence of data on the effects on skin and eyes, it is prudent to consider Friedland clay as an irritant to skin and eyes and as a potential dermal sensitiser. The mineral components occurring in Friedland clay are ubiquitous in the environment. Therefore, it is not expected that its use as a feed additive would adversely affect the environment. Friedland clay has the potential to improve pellet hardness by acting as a binder. The FEEDAP Panel considers that insufficient evidence was provided to establish the binding and anticaking properties of Friedland clay.