Legal plastic content in animal feed could harm human health, experts warn - THE GUARDIAN

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

Article in UK newspapaer The Guardian: 

Small bits of plastic packaging from waste food make their way into animal feed as part of the UK’s permitted recycling process.

Dr Heather Leslie told the Guardian that “the only level of plastic in animal feed should be none at all”. Leslie is an ecotoxicologist specialising in microplastics at the Vrije University in Amsterdam. “There is a lack of transparency for what the animals that citizens are eating have been fed. Citizens have no way of knowing what they are actually eating.

“Tiny microplastics can be released from larger pieces during feed processing and the smaller fractions are, we think, even more risky for the animal’s health. We’ve known for decades that after ingestion fine plastic particles cross the mammalian gut barrier and enter the bloodstream. It’s already been tested in pigs, dogs, rats and also in chickens. From the bloodstream they can be transported to tissues and organs. We know this from studies with rats.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/15/legal-plastic-content-in-animal-feed-could-harm-human-health-experts-warn

Subject

Small bits of plastic packaging from waste food make their way into animal feed as part of the UK’s permitted recycling process.

Period15 Dec 2018

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleLegal plastic content in animal feed could harm human health, experts warn
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletThe Guardian
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Size1030 words
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Date15/12/18
    DescriptionPlastic traces in animal feed could pose a risk to human health and urgently need to be the subject of more research, experts have told the Guardian. Their comments came after British farmer Andrew Rock contacted the Guardian, having noticed plastic shreds in his animal feed. Rock was told by the suppliers that this was a legal part of the recycling process that turns waste food, still packaged, into animal feed.

    Dr Heather Leslie told the Guardian that “the only level of plastic in animal feed should be none at all”. Leslie is an ecotoxicologist specialising in microplastics at the Vrije University in Amsterdam. “There is a lack of transparency for what the animals that citizens are eating have been fed. Citizens have no way of knowing what they are actually eating.

    “Tiny microplastics can be released from larger pieces during feed processing and the smaller fractions are, we think, even more risky for the animal’s health. We’ve known for decades that after ingestion fine plastic particles cross the mammalian gut barrier and enter the bloodstream. It’s already been tested in pigs, dogs, rats and also in chickens. From the bloodstream they can be transported to tissues and organs. We know this from studies with rats.”
    Producer/AuthorThe Guardian
    URLhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/15/legal-plastic-content-in-animal-feed-could-harm-human-health-experts-warn
    PersonsH.A. Leslie