Guang-Hai Qi, Ph.D. & Feng Ji, Ph.D.
Feed Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Feed production in China increased by 112 times and 19.1% yearly from 1980 to 2007. Great progress has been made in animal production such as improved FCR (feed conversion ratio) and fewer feeding time for animals to reach the market weight. However, some problems challenged the further development of the feed industry in China. One of the major challenges is the heavy shortage of feed ingredients. The second one is that feed safety problems still exists.
Some food safety issues related to feed production, which have produced adverse effects on sustainable development of animal husbandry as well as social stability. The third issue is livestock pollution. Intensive animal husbandry has increased risk of feed additives, nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals etc pollution to water and soil. The final one is lower production efficiency in animal husbandry in China compared to that of developed countries.
It is well recognized that feed safety guarantees the safety of animal products in food. Feed safety includes feed ingredient safety, feed product safety, animal feeding safety, consumer safety, and environment safety.
There are three kinds of factors, artificial, natural and occasional that may affect feed safety. Artificial factors include addition of illegal drugs and additives, utilization of permitted feed additives and drugs beyond permitted ranges, disguise added materials misleading consumers, risks from counterfeit feed products, and utilization of animal protein in ruminant feed. Natural factors include natural toxic and hazardous substances in feed, mouldy feed and heavy metal pollution. Occasional factors refer to cross contamination and occasional pollution caused by toxic and hazardous substances.
To solve feed safety issues, an appropriate strategy should be taken by government, enterprises and scientific development.