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Aquaculture Feed and Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Codex Alimentarius

Albert G. J. Tacon and Marc Metian

The important role played by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the development of international standards, guidelines, and recommendations to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade is discussed

December 31, 2008

Aquaculture Feed and Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Codex Alimentarius
1 Albert G. J. Tacon and 2 Marc Metian
1 Aquatic Farms Ltd., Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA
2 Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

The ultimate objective of an aquaculture feed manufacturer and aquaculture food supplier is to ensure that the feed or food produced is both safe and wholesome. Reported food safety risks, which may be associated with the use of commercial animal feeds, including compound aquaculture feeds, usually result from the possible presence of unwanted contaminants, either within the feed ingredients used or from the external contamination of the finished feed on prolonged storage.

The major animal feed contaminants that have been reported to date have included almonellae,mycotoxins, veterinary drug residues, persistent organic pollutants, agricultural and other chemicals (solvent residues, melamine), heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium) and excess mineral salts (hexavalent chromium, arsenic, selenium, flourine), and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

Apart from the direct negative effect of these possible contaminants on the health of the cultured target species, there is a risk that the feed contaminants may be passed along the food chain, via contaminated aquaculture produce, to consumers.

In recent years, public concern regarding food safety has increased as a consequence of the increasing prevalence of antibiotic residues, persistent organic pollutants, and chemicals in farmed seafood. The important role played by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the development of international standards, guidelines, and recommendations to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade is discussed.

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