Antimicrobial drug use and related management practices among Ontario swine producers.
A mail survey of swine producers in Ontario was undertaken during 1991 to describe the types, frequency, and motives for antimicrobial use. Two hundred operations that marketed fewer than 350 hogs per year, and 800 that marketed more than 350 per year were sent questionnaires, 63% of which were completed and returned. Most operations (86%) added antimicrobials to starter (weanling pig) rations, while fewer (29%) added these drugs to finisher pig rations. The most commonly used antimicrobials were tylosin, carbadox, and furazolidone in weanling pigs, and tylosin, lincomycin, and tetracycline in finishers. Water medication of grower-finisher pigs was practised on 25% of farms; 80% of farms had injected at least some grower-finisher pigs with antimicrobials in the 12 mo preceding the survey. Approximately 20% of operations that added antimicrobials to finisher rations did so for growth promotion purposes only, while others used them for disease treatment, prevention, control, or a combination of reasons. Among those not using antimicrobials in finisher rations, 83% did not believe they were necessary and 37% were concerned about the potential for residues in marketed hogs. (+info)
Exposure to exogenous estrogens in food: possible impact on human development and health.
There has been increasing concern about the impact of environmental compounds with hormone-like action on human development and reproductive health over the past decades. An alternative but neglected source of hormone action that may be considered in this connection is hormone residues in meat from husbandry animals treated with sex steroid hormones for growth promotion. Treatment of cattle with naturally occurring or synthetic sex hormones may enhance lean muscle growth and improve feed efficiency and is therefore a very cost effective procedure for cattle producers who have used it for decades in some Western countries, including the USA and Canada. The Joint Food and Agricultural Organisation/World Health Organisation (FAO/WHO) expert committee on food additives (JECFA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered, in 1988, that the residues found in meat from treated animals were safe for the consumers. We have re-evaluated the JECFA conclusions regarding the safety of estradiol residues in meat in the light of recent scientific data, with special emphasis on estradiol levels in prepubertal children. These levels are needed for estimates of the normal daily production rates of estradiol in children, who may be particularly sensitive to low levels of estradiol. In our opinion, the conclusions by JECFA concerning the safety of hormone residues in meat seem to be based on uncertain assumptions and inadequate scientific data. Our concerns can be summarized as follows. 1) The data on residue levels in meat were based on studies performed in the 1970's and 1980's using radioimmunoassay (RIA) methods available at the time. The sensitivity of the methods was generally inadequate to measure precisely the low levels found in animal tissues, and considerable variation between different RIA methods for measuring steroids exists. Therefore the reported residue levels may be subject to considerable uncertainty. 2) Only limited information on the levels of the various metabolites of the steroids was given despite the fact that metabolites also may have biological activity. 3) Reliable data on daily production rates of steroid hormones were and are still lacking in healthy prepubertal children. This lack is crucial as previous guidelines regarding acceptable levels of steroid residues in edible animal tissues have been based on very questionable estimates of production rates in children. Thus, even today the US FDA bases its guidelines on the presumably highly overestimated production rates in prepubertal children given in the JECFA 1988 report. 4) The possible biological significance of very low levels of estradiol is neglected. In conclusion, based on our current knowledge possible adverse effects on human health by consumption of meat from hormone-treated animals cannot be excluded. (+info)
Animal health and food safety.
Foods of animal origin have an important role in a balanced diet and must be safe for human consumption. Equally important is the need for the food to be perceived as safe by the consumer. Safe food of animal origin must be free from animal pathogens that infect man and from contamination by residues. While intensive farming practices have been linked with the rise in foodborne illness in humans, it is interesting to note that the rise has continued even when there has been a shift to less intensive farm production systems. While the production of meat, milk and eggs, regardless of new technology or changes in production methods, cannot be expected to achieve zero bacterial risk, there is the need to reduce the risk and, where possible, eliminate it at the 'on the farm stage'. The current use of the terms 'farm-to-table', 'stable-to-table' and 'plough-to-plate' clearly identifies the farm as one part of the production chain which must be considered in terms of food safety. (+info)
Total radioactive residues and clenbuterol residues in swine after dietary administration of [14C]clenbuterol for seven days and preslaughter withdrawal periods of zero, three, or seven days.
Nine barrows (23.8 +/- 0.9 kg) and 9 gilts (23.1 +/- 0.9 kg) were used to determine the disposition of radiocarbon after oral [14C]clenbuterol (4-amino-alpha-[t-butylaminomethyl]-3,5-dichlorobenzyl [7-(14)C]alcohol hydrochloride) administration and to determine total and parent residues in edible tissues. Three barrows and three gilts, housed in metabolism crates, were fed 1 ppm [14C]clenbuterol HCl for seven consecutive days in three separate trials; a single barrow and gilt from each trial was slaughtered after 0-, 3-, or 7-d preslaughter withdrawal periods. Urine and feces were collected during the dosing and the withdrawal period; edible and inedible tissues were collected at slaughter. Total recovery of radiocarbon was 94.2 +/- 6.5%. Total clenbuterol absorption was greater than 75% for barrows and 60% for gilts. Total radioactive residues in tissues were not different (P > 0.05) between barrows and gilts. Concentrations of parent clenbuterol in liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and lung did not differ between barrows and gilts (P > 0.05). Total radioactive and parent residues declined in tissues as withdrawal period increased. After the 0-d withdrawal period, total liver residues (286 ppb) were approximately equal to lung residues, twice those of the kidney, and about 15 times those of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. After a 7-d withdrawal period, total radioactive residues in liver (15 ppb) were roughly three times greater than lung, kidney, and adipose tissue total residues and about 13 times those of skeletal muscle total residues. Parent clenbuterol represented 79, 63, 42, 67, and 100% of the total radioactive residue in adipose tissue, kidney, liver, lung, and skeletal muscle, respectively, in hogs slaughtered with a 0-d withdrawal period. With increasing withdrawal period, the percentage of total radioactive residue present as parent clenbuterol within edible tissues (including lung) decreased, so that after a 7-d withdrawal period, 7, 16, and 29% of the total residue was composed of parent clenbuterol in kidney, liver, and lung, respectively. After a 7-d withdrawal period, parent clenbuterol exceeded the European maximum residue limit (0.5 ppb) 4.6-fold in liver and 2.4-fold in lung. In muscle, clenbuterol was approximately 40 times the limit after a 0-d withdrawal period but had dropped below 0.5 ppb after a 3-d withdrawal period. Results from this study indicate that clenbuterol HCl is well absorbed in swine and that the use of clenbuterol in this species in an off-label manner is inconsistent with human food safety standards used in developed countries. (+info)
Direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for sulfamethazine.
A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for screening sulfamethazine (SMZ) in pork tissues was developed. The assay was made with the affinity-purified polyclonal antibody-coated microtiter plate. A cross reactivity of IgG was observed at 3.5 microg/g of sulfamerazine among nine kinds of sulfonamide tested. Pork tissues fortified with SMZ was mixed with octadecyl silica (C18), and extracted with dichloromethane. The extracted SMZ was measured by homemade ELISA, commercial ELISA, and HPLC. The results were correlated (r=0.993, p<0.01). The homemade ELISA was sensitive to determine SMZ at the maximum residue level (MRL) as commercial one. During stability test of the IgG coated microtiter plate performed at 40 degrees C for 14 days, no difference in sensitivity was observed. We developed homemade ELISA with a detection limit of 10 ng of SMZ per g of pork tissues, and it could be used to screen SMZ in pork tissues. (+info)
Onset of maternal arterial blood flow and placental oxidative stress. A possible factor in human early pregnancy failure.
The aim was to measure changes in the oxygen tension within the human placenta associated with onset of the maternal arterial circulation at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, and the impact on placental tissues. Using a multiparameter probe we established that the oxygen tension rises steeply from <20 mmHg at 8 weeks of gestation to >50 mmHg at 12 weeks. This rise coincides with morphological changes in the uterine arteries that allow free flow of maternal blood into the placenta, and is associated with increases in the mRNA concentrations and activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and manganese and copper/zinc superoxide dismutase within placental tissues. Between 8 to 9 weeks there is a sharp peak of expression of the inducible form of heat shock protein 70, formation of nitrotyrosine residues, and derangement of the mitochondrial cristae within the syncytiotrophoblast. We conclude that a burst of oxidative stress occurs in the normal placenta as the maternal circulation is established. We speculate that this may serve a physiological role in stimulating normal placental differentiation, but may also be a factor in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia and early pregnancy failure if antioxidant defenses are depleted. (+info)
Lifestyle and environmental contribution to male infertility.
This chapter is an overview of recent developments in our understanding and thinking about the importance and nature of environmental effects on sperm counts and fertility in the human male. This area is plagued by imperfect studies, not necessarily because of imperfect design but because of other 'uncontrollable' constraints. The available data, therefore, need to be placed in context and account taken of the limitations of our understanding or, more correctly, our ignorance. As we enter the new millennium, one of the saddest scientific aspects of human reproduction and infertility is our persisting ignorance about the causes and treatment of male infertility. With one notable exception (Y chromosome microdeletions) there has been little advance in our understanding of the causes of male infertility and its direct treatment over the past 20 years. Although most infertile men can now be offered the chance of fertility via ICSI, it is largely ignored that this does not represent treatment of the patient's infertility (which will persist unchanged), but is a means of circumventing the problem and leaving it for the next generation to tackle. There are many reasons for our ignorance about the causes of infertility, and some of these are outlined below in order to emphasise how this limits our ability to establish whether or not specific lifestyle and environmental factors do, or do not, affect human male reproductive function. (+info)
The Belgian PCB and dioxin incident of January-June 1999: exposure data and potential impact on health.
In January 1999, 500 tons of feed contaminated with approximately 50 kg of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1 g of dioxins were distributed to animal farms in Belgium, and to a lesser extent in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. This study was based on 20,491 samples collected in the database of the Belgian federal ministries from animal feed, cattle, pork, poultry, eggs, milk, and various fat-containing food items analyzed for their PCB and/or dioxin content. Dioxin measurements showed a clear predominance of polychlorinated dibenzofuran over polychlorinated dibenzodioxin congeners, a dioxin/PCB ratio of approximately 1:50,000 and a PCB fingerprint resembling that of an Aroclor mixture, thus confirming contamination by transformer oil rather than by other environmental sources. In this case the PCBs contribute significantly more to toxic equivalents (TEQ) than dioxins. The respective means +/- SDs and the maximum concentrations of dioxin (expressed in TEQ) and PCB observed per gram of fat in contaminated food were 170.3 +/- 487.7 pg, 2613.4 pg, 240.7 +/- 2036.9 ng, and 51059.0 ng in chicken; 1.9 +/- 0.8 pg, 4.3 pg, 34.2 +/- 30.5 ng, and 314.0 ng in milk; and 32.0 +/- 104.4 pg, 713.3 pg, 392.7 +/- 2883.5 ng, and 46000.0 ng in eggs. Assuming that as a consequence of this incident between 10 and 15 kg PCBs and from 200 to 300 mg dioxins were ingested by 10 million Belgians, the mean intake per kilogram of body weight is calculated to maximally 25,000 ng PCBs and 500 pg international TEQ dioxins. Estimates of the total number of cancers resulting from this incident range between 40 and 8,000. Neurotoxic and behavioral effects in neonates are also to be expected but cannot be quantified. Because food items differed widely (more than 50-fold) in the ratio of PCBs to dioxins, other significant sources of contamination and a high background contamination are likely to contribute substantially to the exposure of the Belgian population. (+info)