Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of VevoVitall® (benzoic acid) as a feed additive for pigs for reproduction (gestating and lactating sows, boars and gilts)
VevoVitall® consists of 99.9 % benzoic acid. It is already authorised in the European Union as a zootechnical additive for weaned piglets and pigs for fattening. VevoVitall® is intended to be used in pigs for reproduction to reduce the pH of their urine. The applicant initially linked this effect to the reduction of the ammonia emission from the target animal’s manure and the control of urinary tract disorders in sows, but subsequently removed these claims from the scope of the application. In 2012, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) adopted an opinion on the safety and efficacy of VevoVitall® as a feed additive for pigs for reproduction, covering gestating and lactating sows, boars and gilts. The Panel could not conclude on the safety of the additive for the target species or on its efficacy because of the lack of data provided by the applicant. The FEEDAP Panel considered the new information provided by the applicant on safety and efficacy, concluding that VevoVitall® is safe for sows, gilts and boars at the highest proposed use level (10 000 mg/kg complete feed), but no margin of safety could be established. VevoVitall® at 5 000 mg/kg has the potential to introduce a small reduction in urine pH in sows. No conclusion on the effects on urine pH could be drawn for boars and gilts. The FEEDAP Panel considers that an effect on urinary pH alone is of little practical or biological relevance unless it is demonstrated to be linked to a clear beneficial effect on animal production, performance, welfare or the environmental consequences of animal production.