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Lasalocid awareness and sampling in Scotland

Wong, R.Y.P. and Roxburgh, J.W. (2010) Lasalocid awareness and sampling in Scotland. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 20 (3). pp. 159-169. ISSN 0960-3123

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Lasalocid is an ionophore antibiotic extensively used as a coccidiostat in poultry production. Lasalocid should not be fed to egg-laying hens as it accumulates in the eggs, and residues have often been found in eggs. Other ionophores are toxic to humans, but the exact level of lasalocid toxicity to humans has not been established. Approximately 250 egg samples were analysed for lasalocid each year from the 10 billion eggs consumed annually in the UK. A census of the 32 Scottish Local Authority Environmental Health Departments assessed awareness of lasalocid residues in eggs, and the results indicated that awareness of lasalocid was very low and no local authorities tested for lasalocid. The example of lasalocid revealed weaknesses in the current sampling regime surrounding foods of animal origin. Conclusions are drawn that central government should raise awareness within local authorities and provide financial support on local authority sampling to achieve proper representation.