Pet food: more traces of DDT found in animal products according to the latest EFSA report on pesticides

Bitter surprise in pet food: residues of pesticides such as the dangerous DDT and hexachlorobenzene have been detected in pet food sold in Europe (although in most cases within the limits set by the law).

Foods designed for dogs, cats And the others pets are they really free of substances potentially harmful to their health? According to what emerges from the latest EFSA report on the trail of pesticides in food, the situation is not entirely rosy, on the contrary. The report examines food intended for human consumption, but also that for pets marketed in different European countries.

In total, the samples of pet food analyzed in 2020 were 12,142. Of these, 11,167 (92%) were found to be free of residues of chemical substances, in 830 samples (i.e. 6.8%) one or more pesticides lower than or within the limits authorized by the law have been detected. Instead, 145 food samples exceeded the limits.

Pesticides found in pet food

Among the controversial substances found, the notorious insecticide stands out DDT (banned for decades in the United States and Europe and classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer), thehexachlorobenzene (dangerous fungicide banned in the EU since 2004) and the thiacloprid (insecticide belonging to the neonicotinoid family, banned from Europe since 2019).

With regard to pesticide residues within the limits set by law, here are the substances found in detail:

  • copper compounds (in 488 samples)
  • DDT, especially in sea bass, salmon and herring feeds), (in 131 samples)
  • hexachlorobenzene (in 118 samples)
  • tiacloprid (in 88 samples)
  • mercury (in 52 samples)

On the other hand, the pesticides found in pet food that had an amount above the level considered “safe” are:

  • copper compounds (43 samples), mainly in cattle liver foods and honey
  • bromide ion (42 samples), mainly in bovine liver foods and honey (14 samples)
  • BAC, or benzalkonium chloride used as a disinfectant in the food industry (13 samples)
  • DDAC, i.e. didecyldimethylammonium chloride used as a disinfectant in the food industry in foods made from bovine liver in cream products (8 samples)
  • chlordecone (a toxic insecticide used in the past mainly in banana crops and banned in the EU) in chicken eggs (8 samples)
  • chlorfenvinfos (organophosphorus acaricide banned from the European market since 2003 because of its dangerousness) in honey

In short, it’s not just the food we bring to our tables that is contaminated with pesticides. Pet food also holds bitter surprises, as confirmed by numerous surveys of pet food sold in Italy by well-known brands.

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Source: EFSA

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