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Food Safety: Iceland must improve controls and monitoring of medicine residues in animals and animal products




Iceland does not fully comply with the legal requirements related to control of contaminants and residues in live animals and animal products. This includes controls on the distribution and use of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs). This is the main conclusion of a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) today, following an audit carried out in Iceland in February 2016.

The mission team found that VMPs are commonly dispensed to the public without the required veterinary prescription and the use of medicine in agriculture is not adequately monitored. Some improvements had been made since ESA's last audit on the same issues in 2011, such as the implementation of an electronic database which could strengthen supervision and control of the use of VMPs.

The main purpose of a national residue monitoring plan is to ensure the protection of consumers against possible harmful effects from exposure to residues of veterinary medicinal products in foodstuffs. The plan and the result of the previous year's monitoring is submitted by Iceland to ESA for evaluation annually.

Although the Icelandic national residue monitoring plan has improved in recent years further improvements are needed e.g. sampling of certain product groups, selection of substances and frequencies of sampling still do not meet the minimum requirements.  The mission team also noted limited cooperation within and between the competent authorities in the planning phase, incomplete supervision of the implementation of the plan, clustering of sampling and deficiencies in the follow-up of non-compliant results. Therefore, the plan's effectiveness is not ensured.

The report includes a number of recommendations to rectify shortcomings and enhance the control system in place in Iceland. Iceland has taken note of the shortcomings identified and has provided an action plan that addresses the Authority's recommendations. The action plan is annexed to the final report and is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

 For further information, please contact:

 Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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