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Parliamentary questions
PDF 104kWORD 18k
17 July 2018
Question for written answer E-003977-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nicola Caputo (S&D)

 Subject:  Silver nanoparticles replacing antibiotics in chicken-farming
 Answer in writing 

The abuse of antibiotics in intensive farming and the increasingly frequent warnings about antimicrobial resistance have prompted researchers from all over the world to look for alternative solutions. One of the options being proposed is silver nanoparticles, although there are as yet no studies on their safety. That was why the Venezie Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute (IZSV) sought to understand whether they might entail risks to consumers; its study has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The specific question that the IZSV researchers attempted to answer was whether silver nanoparticles used in chicken-farming could accumulate in meat and eggs, and hence end up on consumers’ dining-tables.

According to their findings, silver nanoparticles were found in the livers of the hens tested and, to a lesser extent, in the yolks of their eggs. No particles were found, however, in muscles, kidneys, or egg-whites. In short, there is a possibility that bioaccumulation could occur in the meat and other products of animals treated with these particles.

That being the case, does the Commission have any information showing how widely silver nanoparticles are being used on European farms?

Is it aware of further studies demonstrating the risks to consumers?

What steps will it take to protect the health of European consumers?

Original language of question: IT 
Last updated: 1 August 2018Legal notice