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Food safety
Bute residues of low concern for consumers, say EFSA and EMA

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THE illegal presence of residues of phenylbutazone (bute) in horsemeat is ‘of low concern for consumers’, according to a joint assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In a risk assessment published this week, they explain that this is because of the low likelihood of exposure and the overall low likelihood of toxic effects. However, they confirm that it is not possible to set safe levels for phenylbutazone in food products of animal origin, and say that its use in animals intended for the food chain should remain prohibited.

The EFSA and EMA were asked by the European Commission …

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