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New evidence shows that a food supplement is still being sold in Albania, which EU countries have banned for good reason.
Undercover footage shot by reporters at Top Channel TV shows a banned hormone supplement, Boldemec LA, still being sold at Albanian pharmacies.
An investigation published by Balkan Insight on February 5 revealed that for more than more five years, Albanian authorities allowed the import and use for cattle fattening of the supplement, which contains the hormone Boldenone and can be dangerous in the long term to human health.
Queried on Tuesday, the Ministry of Agriculture declined to comment. In a previous statement for Balkan Insight, Sotiraq Papa, head of consumer protection at the Ministry, claimed that Boldemec LA was withdrawn from the market in 2009.
The Minister of Agriculture banned marketing, storage and use of substances with hormonal actions like Boldenone in 2006.
A law on veterinary service, adopted in 2011, prescribes the use of hormones only when they are approved by the European Commission and only for therapeutic and scientific research purposes.
Bruno Le Bizec, a professor at Nantes-Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, in France, told Balkan Insight that EU regulations prohibit the use of Boldenone to fatten animals because its toxicology is higher than the EU criteria permit.
“The toxicological make-stuff of Boldenone is… quite dangerous when consumed by humans,” Le Bizec said.
He added that there is a good deal of debate in the scientific community about steroids, even when their presence in products is about 100 or even 1,000 times smaller than in Boldemec LA, because of the potential danger to consumers.
The professor underlined that consuming meat fattened with Boldenone can lead to a number of adverse health conditions.
“It’s critical, when they [products fattened with Boldenone] are consumed, especially for young children and babies, in light of the activity of the steroid,” he said.
Saskia Sterk, an expert on steroids at the RILKIT Institute in The Netherlands, agrees that consumption of meat fattened with Boldenone and other steroids, particularly among vulnerable groups, is unsafe.
“I support EU legislation on the subject because there can be long-term effects for human health and also for animal healthcare,” she said.
“It’s also an unfair economic practice, when you compare farmers that are producing [meat] without these substances,” Sterk concluded.
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