The National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) has said antibiotic residue in chicken produced and marketed in India was far below the permissible levels in Europe and the US.

In a statement aimed at allaying apprehensions on the safety of consuming chicken, the NECC said, “The levels of antibiotic residues found in the study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) are far below the maximum residue levels prescribed by the European Union and the US, which are the most stringent in the world.”

Hence it was absolutely safe to eat and enjoy chicken, the statement said.

According to NECC, with poultry meat production in India at 3.8 million tonnes per annum, the sample size of the study (70 chickens) was minuscule, and could not reflect the status in the entire industry.

Even within this, 60 per cent of the samples were found to be negative for antibiotic residue. In the remaining 40 per cent, the actual level of residues was far below the MRL prescribed by the EU and other advanced countries, it added.