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

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Article
EFSA Journal 2012;10(11):2970 [24 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2970
EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP)
Panel Members
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.
Acknowledgement

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Trace Elements, including Noël Albert Dierick, Jürgen Gropp, Joop de Knecht, Alberto Mantovani, and the late Reinhard Kroker, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On Request From
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2011-00844
Adopted
15 Novembre 2012
Published
23 Novembre 2012
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Article (342.74 KB)342.74 KB
Abstract

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.

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 zinc oxide when used as feed additive for all animal species.

The FEEDAP Panel concluded that zinc oxide is a safe source of zinc for all animal species, considering the maximum contents for total zinc in feedingstuffs set by EU legislation.

No concerns for consumer safety are expected from the use of zinc oxide in animal nutrition when used up to the EU maximum authorised level in feed.

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 was not expected to pose an appreciable risk to the environment.

Zinc oxide is efficacious in meeting animal zinc requirements.

The FEEDAP Panel made some recommendations (i) on the specification of zinc oxide, and (ii) on the direct incorporation of zinc oxide into compound feedingstuffs.

Keywords
Nutritional additive, compounds of trace elements, zinc, zinc oxide, safety, environment, efficacy
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Number of Pages
24