Ambrosia in feed materials from France

26 July 2019

Beware of Ambrosia (Ragweed) and its harmful effect on both agriculture and on human health.

Be alert!
Ragweed (Ambrosia) is a serious concern because it has harmful effects on agriculture as a crop weed, and effects on public health as a major allergen.

Companies that purchase feed materials, especially Millet, Soybean, Sorghum (Milo) and Sunflower seeds from France should pay attention and perform an analysis.

Ambrosia in feed materials
Via the Early Warning System GMP+ International received several notifications about batches contaminated with Ambrosia in the first months of 2019. The batches of products in question included: Millet, Soybean, Sorghum (Milo) and Sunflower seeds; in most cases the origin of the batches was France (harvest 2018).

It is to be expected that more contaminated batches are found.

Spread of Ambrosia
A single plant may produce a billion grains of pollen per season – pollen which may remain airborne for days, affecting people hundreds of kilometers away. In addition, Ambrosia may cross-sensitize patients to other allergens, including food allergens.

Ambrosia also affects crop production as a weed, the “bird feed” (unprocessed) plays an important role in introducing Ambrosia to new, previously not infested areas.

Limits
Following the EU legislation, GMP+ International set limits for the botanical impurity Ambrosia spp. in the Document GMP+ BA1 Specific feed safety limits.

If any GMP+ member find batches exceeding the limit, they should fill in the EWS-form and send it to GMP+ International (ews@gmpplus.org).

Source of information: CEH, EFSA

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