Meat & Livestock News

Cattle Australia Reassures on PFAS Safety in Beef, Backed by National Diet Study Findings


  • Cattle Australia addresses concerns over PFAS in beef, ensuring ongoing engagement with regulators to maintain safety standards.
  • The 27th Australian Total Diet Study by FSANZ confirms low PFAS levels in food, posing no health risks to consumers.
  • The Australian beef industry remains vigilant, with no current need for PFAS-related actions under the Livestock Production Assurance program, but is prepared to support future monitoring efforts for exports, especially to the EU.

Cattle Australia (CA) has responded to public concerns regarding the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Australian beef, emphasising the organisation’s commitment to consumer and producer safety.

Dr Chris Parker, CA’s Chief Executive Officer, reassures that CA is in continuous dialogue with regulatory bodies tasked with assessing PFAS risks, underlining the global nature of the issue and the complexity it entails.

Acknowledging the worries of both producers and consumers, CA pledges to work alongside industry and governmental partners to uphold the international reputation of Australian beef as safe for consumption. 

This commitment is supported by findings from the 27th Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS) conducted by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which investigated PFAS levels across various foods and beverages. The study concluded that PFAS exposure through food in Australia is minimal and does not constitute a food safety concern, affirming the low levels of PFAS in the national food supply and dispelling fears over public health and safety.

Australia’s approach to managing PFAS is grounded in science and risk assessment, with guidelines in place to minimise exposure in areas affected by contamination. The Australian meat industry mirrors this methodology, continuously reviewing necessary actions via the SAFEMEAT committee.

To date, this review has found no requirement for actions under the Livestock Production Assurance program regarding PFAS, nor the need for PFAS declarations on the National Vendor Declaration for cattle and sheep movement.

The evolving nature of PFAS regulation saw the European Commission setting maximum limits for PFAS in food of animal origin in January 2023. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) ensures that export certifications include assurances against violative residues, with the likelihood of exceeding EU limits deemed low.

CA is closely monitoring these developments, ready to support a monitoring program through the National Residue Survey (NRS) for PFAS to facilitate EU trade if necessary.

CA remains vigilant on the issue of PFAS residues relevant to exports and continues its collaborative efforts within SAFEMEAT to address this challenge effectively.