A laboratory for animal feed and food safety was inaugurated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India by T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology.
Praising the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) for making the laboratory a national one, Dr. Ramasami said 38 national laboratories funded by his department were functioning in the country.
While 37 of them were involved in various research programmes on drugs meant for human beings, this was the only institution involved in research on animal feed and human food products.
More research was needed to ensure animal care and health as the subject was still in its initial stages in the country, Ramasami said. Up till now, the feed provided to the livestock was not checked for the presence of toxins and other hazardous heavy metals. P. Thangaraju, Vice-Chancellor, TANUVAS, said though the country had achieved adequate food production, the quality of the produce was not assessed. The lab would help in assessing the animal feed and certain products consumed by humans.
He said that nearly 15 years ago a toxicological lab was formed to help the dairy and poultry industry to check for the presence of a few toxins. This led to the assessing the quality of food and to eliminate the toxins in the feed. The lab had identified a genetically modified organism in the food processing chain.
The Department of Science and Technology had provided funding to TANUVAS for improving the laboratory into a national one.