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Injectable iron study clarified

Researchers clarify interpretation of study results showing contaminants were found in injectable iron products for neonatal piglets.

Tim Lundeen 1

May 25, 2018

2 Min Read
Injectable iron study clarified
Piglets with sow.Photo by Stephen Ausmus.

In the May/June issue of the Journal of Swine Health & Production, published by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), a research study appeared that questioned the levels of contaminants found in injectable iron products for neonatal piglets.

Specifically, the study showed concentrations of arsenic, chromium and/or lead exceeding the permitted daily exposure limit for humans in 15 of 16 widely used injectable iron products for piglets, according to an announcement from Pharmacosmos, which sponsored the study.

In its May 23 newsletter, AASV distributed a statement from the study authors seeking to clarify their interpretations of the results.

In response to their published article, "Elemental Impurities in Injectable Iron Products for Swine," the authors wrote that "concern has been raised regarding product and food safety. To clarify any misconceptions, the article does not state that any of the products available in the United States were or are considered unsafe for use in swine by any regulatory authority in the United States. The objective was to evaluate a number of different parenteral/injectable veterinary iron products for the presence of impurities with the hope that the findings would be used to potentially improve the already stringent quality production standards implemented by manufacturers."

The authors noted that the quantities of impurities found in the study — and measured as micrograms per 200 mg dose of iron — "need to be kept in context to their use as a one-time dose or two half-doses to a neonatal pig" and that detection of the impurities "does not indicate that the products are unsafe and should not be used."

The authors cautioned that care "should be used in interpreting data from this publication to avoid over-interpretation about the safety of injectable iron products. The data reported in the article is scientific in nature and should not be used to conclude that there is a food safety issue with pork or pork products."

The letter was signed by researchers Steve Ensley with Kansas State University ([email protected]), Scott Radke with Iowa State University ([email protected]) and Chris Olsen with Pharmacosmos Inc. ([email protected]).

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