There is a ‘negligible risk’ to humans from the use of lidocaine in food-producing animals, according to European health authorities. The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) said it has responded to concerns from the Netherlands about residues of the local anaesthetic. The CVMP said off-label use of lidocaine in cattle and pigs results in no risk to meat consumers. It also said there was no risk to humans from use of lidocaine in horses. However, the committee said: “In relation to residues that may occur in milk following off-label use of lidocaine, current provisions cannot rule out the possibility that consumers could be exposed to lidocaine residues and consequently appropriate communication with veterinarians is recommended in order to ensure that an adequate interval of time is allowed to elapse between the administration of lidocaine and the taking of milk for human consumption.” The Netherlands also asked for the CVMP’s opinion on the consumer safety of xylazine, an anaesthetic and sedative. The CVMP said the use of xylazine in cattle and horses also represents a negligible risk to consumer safety.