Although Researchers in the US Found that elevated concentrations of β-lactam and ionophore compounds might be found in lagoon or runoff pond waters and solid animal manures compared to surface waters, which these compounds are used in veterinary applications , the British Poultry Council explained that “We must steer clear of speculations when talking about such an important subject. The World Health Organisation, the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), and the European Surveillance Programme of Veterinary Antibiotics have confirmed that ionophores have no impact on human health.
European Food Safety Agency has also scrutinised the use of ionophores and published opinions have deemed them safe to be used as a feed additive with no risk to humans.
In Britain, Ionophores are animal-only antimicrobials that are not classified as veterinary medicinal products and their usage is not linked to a reduction in antibiotics. They are classed as feed additives by the Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
In chickens, ionophores are used as feed additives to control coccidiosis; up to 80% of administered ionophores are excreted in the litter. Because poultry litter is commonly used to fertilize agricultural fields, ionophore residues in the litter have become contaminants of emerging concern.