Concentrations of dioxins and dioxine-like PCBs in feed material in the Netherlands, 2001-11

Adamse, P.; Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der; Schoss, S.; Jong, J. de; Hoogenboom, L.A.P.


This study aimed to obtain insights into contamination of feed materials used in the Netherlands with dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Monitoring results from the period 2001-11, covering in total 4938 samples, were statistically analysed and evaluated against the statutory limits set at the beginning or during this period. The percentage of samples exceeding maximum levels set within the European Union for either dioxins or the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs were below 1% for most feed categories, except for fish meal (4.1%), clay minerals (binders and anti-caking agents) (3.4%), and vegetable oils and byproducts (1.7%). For most feed categories, non-compliance with the action threshold (roughly 33% lower than maximum levels) for either dioxins or dioxin-like PCBs was up to three times higher than non-compliance with the respective maximum levels. Exceedance of action thresholds was just above 1% for animal fat, pre-mixtures and feed materials of plant origin excluding vegetable oils. For the categories fish meal, clay minerals, and vegetable oils and byproducts, the action thresholds were exceeded by 5.0%, 9.8% and 3.0% of the samples, respectively. In general, the percentages of samples that exceeded the action thresholds and maximum levels were lower than those reported for the European Union by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In most of the feed materials, there seems to be a decreasing trend in concentrations of dioxins or dioxin-like PCBs over the years. However, a lowering of the limits of quantification during this period and the low concentrations in most samples precludes drawing strong conclusions.