Agriculture and Food:

Selenium in Animal Feeds

RCED-92-256R: Published: Aug 21, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to: (1) raise the amount of selenium in animal feeds; and (2) eliminate requirements for analysis of each batch of selenium mixture manufactured for use in animal feedstuffs. GAO noted that: (1) normal animal development requires trace amounts of selenium, but greater amounts could be fatal in humans; (2) FDA estimates 70 percent of annual feed fails to meet the minimum dietary animal nutritional selenium requirements; (3) increasing selenium levels raises concerns over the adequacy of scientific data and potential harmful environmental effects; (4) industry currently administers testing and analyzes premix levels; and (5) FDA believes the cost of additional scientific testing and a general lack of information available will prolong settling the issue of selenium safety.

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