Safety and efficacy of selenium compounds (E8) as feed additives for all animal species: sodium selenite, based on a dossier submitted by Retorte GmbH Selenium Chemicals and Metals

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Article
Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2016;14(2):4398 [26 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4398
Panel members at the time of adoption
Gabriele Aquilina, Giovanna Azimonti, Vasileios Bampidis, Maria de Lourdes Bastos, Georges Bories, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Gerhard Flachowsky, Jürgen Gropp, Boris Kolar, Maryline Kouba, Secundino López Puente, Marta López-Alonso, Alberto Mantovani, Baltasar Mayo, Fernando Ramos, Guido Rychen, Maria Saarela, Roberto Edoardo Villa, Robert John Wallace and Pieter Wester.
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Trace Elements, including Lubomir Leng, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion

Contact
feedap@efsa.europa.eu
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2014-00505
Adopted
28 January 2016
Published
18 February 2016
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
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Abstract

Selenium is a trace element that is essential for vertebrates and involved in a series of vital metabolic functions. Sodium selenite is considered to be a safe and efficacious source of selenium for all animal species/categories. The use of sodium selenite as a source of selenium in animal nutrition is considered to be safe for the consumer, provided that the total maximum authorised content of selenium in complete feed is respected. The additive is considered to be an irritant to the skin, eyes and the respiratory system, and a skin sensitiser. Systemic exposure to selenium could result from dermal contact. Users/workers handling the additive would be exposed to selenium by inhalation at levels which constitute a risk. The use of sodium selenite in animal nutrition up to the maximum authorised content in feed would not raise concerns to the soil compartment, the ground or surface water. Concerning the marine sediments, given the standard aquaculture practices and the low potential maximum concentration of selenium from fish feeds, any impact on the environment is unlikely.

Summary

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of selenium compounds as feed additive for all animal species: sodium selenite, based on a dossier submitted by Retorte GmbH Selenium Chemicals and Metals.

Selenium is a trace element that is essential for vertebrates and is involved in a series of vital metabolic functions (e.g. prevention of oxidative stress, proper thyroid function, maintenance of cellular redox status, immunocompetence, detoxification of heavy metals and xenobiotics).

Sodium selenite is considered to be a safe source of selenium for all animal species/categories.

The use of sodium selenite as a source of selenium in animal nutrition is considered to be safe for the consumer, provided that the total maximum authorised content of selenium in complete feed is respected.

The additive is considered to be an irritant to the skin, eyes and the respiratory system, and a skin sensitiser. Systemic exposure to selenium could result from dermal contact. Users/workers handling the additive would be exposed to selenium by inhalation at levels which constitute a risk.

The use of sodium selenite in animal nutrition up to the maximum authorised content in feed would not raise concerns to the soil compartment, the ground or surface water. Concerning the marine sediments, given the standard aquaculture practices and the low potential maximum concentration of selenium from fish feeds, any impact on the environment is unlikely.

Sodium selenite is an efficacious source of the essential trace element selenium for all animal species/categories.

Keywords
nutritional additive, compounds of trace elements, selenium, sodium selenite, safety, environment, efficacy
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Number of Pages
26