Is there a risk from a 'cocktail effect' in relation to veterinary medicines?
Over a lifetime, people will be exposed to many veterinary medicines and similar substances through their food, water and environment. Foods can contain a mixture of veterinary medicines, and people may eat foods containing different veterinary medicines and similar substances at the same time.
Some people are concerned that being exposed to such a mixture of substances may harm people's health in a way that current risk assessments do not take account of.
The Working Group for the Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines (WiGRAMP) published a report in October 2002 that concluded that the risk to people's health from mixtures of residues is likely to be small. It also said that children and pregnant or breastfeeding women are unlikely to be more affected by the 'cocktail effect' than most other people.
The report identified areas of work for further investigation and made several recommendations. The Agency has published an action plan to carry forward these recommendations and has set up a research programme to look into the issue. See the section on Mixtures of Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines for more information.