The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the use of ethoxyquin as an antioxidant in feed for food-producing animals.
NAFDAC’s Director General, Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday that the decision was made following a review of the scientific evidence, which suggests that ethoxyquin may be responsible for a number of health-related problems in both animals and humans.
In her words: “Ethoxyquin (EQ, 6-ethoxy-1, 2-dihydro-2, 2, 4-trimethylquinoline) is widely used in animal feed in order to protect it against lipid peroxidation. It cannot be used in any food for human consumption, but it can pass from feed to farmed fish, poultry, and eggs, so human beings can be exposed to this antioxidant
“Lipid autoxidation is a cascade phenomenon ensuring continuous delivery of free radicals, which initiate continuous peroxidation. This results in food rancidity, which manifests itself as the change in taste, scent, and colour and a decrease in the shelf life of the product.”
According to Adeyeye, the third compound, EQ, is one of the best-known feed antioxidants for domestic animals and fish.
Although ethoxyquin, she said, has its undeniable advantage which is its high antioxidant capacity and low production costs, some of the authors have suggested that it is responsible for a wide range of health-related problems in dogs as well as in humans such as cancer.
She added that, in light of these concerns, NAFDAC has decided to ban the use of ethoxyquin in feed for food-producing animals.