This project is currently studying deposition patterns of drugs in the bone/tissue of poultry and pork. This could provide methods and data that can be used to differentiate between therapeutic and prophylactic use of veterinary medicines, and could lead to the development of a robust methods that can help enforce labelling claims associated with meat that has been produced 'organically' .
Standards for the production of 'organic meat' are governed by EU legislation which permits limited use of veterinary drugs to treat disease (therapeutic) but not their use prophylactically (i.e. for growth promotion). It is well recognised that some requirements of organic meat production can only be assessed by audits e.g. space requirements for animals. However, there are some important aspects of organic farming that will require new analytical methods to be developed. This is particularly true of veterinary medicines, where new procedures are required to differentiate between banned prophylactics/growth promotion and permitted therapeutic use of veterinary medicines during 'organic' production. This project will address this need.
It is well known that some veterinary drugs are incorporated into 'reservoirs' such as bone and hair as an animal grows. Protein bound metabolites are also produced. These 'reservoirs' provide an ideal opportunity for tracking the historical use of a veterinary medicine.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.