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Randall Ennis is the CEO of the World Poultry Foundation.
The use of formaldehyde in animal feed – one of the effective tools in a biosecurity program to protect the food chain and ultimately humans from salmonella – is neither authorised nor banned, and the health of millions hangs in the balance.
As a former CEO of one of the world’s largest primary breeders, I have seen first-hand the role that feed can play in salmonella infection, and the effectiveness of formaldehyde based additives in the prevention of this threat. No one is saying that feed is the only route of infection in poultry, but we had verified evidence of the presence of salmonella in feedstuffs, and the transmission of the organism into poultry.
Like Glyphosate, the formaldehyde question has been stuck in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed – a committee of national experts chaired by the European Commission – where the necessary qualified majority has not been achieved.
Over a decade ago, the European Commission decided to take on salmonella – most often found in poultry and eggs, and sometimes causing death or serious illness. The Commission’s campaign has been a huge success; they made the issue a priority – setting clear targets for member states, introducing regulations to improve hygiene and funding national control programmes – and the impact on human health has been huge. The number of salmonella cases in humans has been halved over the past decade.