In the Netherlands the National Inspection Service for Livestock and Meat draws up the National Plan on Hormones and Other Substances on behalf of the government. The plan describes how the monitoring of livestock and meat for residues is to be performed in the coming year. Each Member State of the EU is required to draw up such a monitoring plan. The plans must be approved by Brussels and the results from the monitoring of the past year must be reported to Brussels.
In the Netherlands about 0.5 percent of all animals slaughtered are examined for traces of antibiotics, using the new Dutch kidney test. This test measures an effect, such as the inhibition of bacterial growth. The test can demonstrate that bacteria growth inhibitors are present in a sample, but can not identify the specific chemical responsible for the inhibition. The proportion of animals that test positive with this test has been stable for some years at about 0.2 percent.
Action limits’ have been set for substances for which no residue limits have been set in the law, to be able to decide whether the result of a residue analysis should be regarded as positive or negative. The action limits for natural hormones depend on the age and gender of the animal.
Fruit and vegetables are healthy. Scientific research has shown that if people were to eat more fruit and vegetables there would be considerably fewer cases of cancer. However the most recent dietary survey conducted in the Netherlands (Voedselconsumptiepeiling, VCP-3) shows that the consumption of fruit and vegetables has declined considerably.