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Leucomalachite green is a persistent and prevalent metabolite of malachite green, a triphenylmethane dye that has been used widely as an antifungal agent in the fish industry. Concern over the use of malachite green is due to the potential for consumer exposure, evidence suggestive of tumor promotion in rodent liver, and suspicion of carcinogenicity based on structure-activity relationships. Our previous study indicated that feeding rodents malachite or leucomalachite green resulted in a dose-related increase in liver DNA adducts, and that, in general, exposure to leucomalachite green caused an increase in the number and severity of changes greater than was observed following exposure to malachite green.
19. The COC considered the possible mechanisms by which LMG induced tumours in the liver of the female mice. It was noted that the overall tumour profile was not that which would be expected of a genotoxic carcinogen, with activity being limited to effects in the liver of the female mouse; furthermore this was mainly due to an increase in adenomas. However it was also noted that there was no evidence from the NTP studies to support any non-genotoxic mechanism. In view of this, and taking into account the views of the COM, the Committee agreed that it was not possible to discount a genotoxic mechanism for the induction of the liver tumours in female mice and it would therefore be prudent to regard LMG as a genotoxic carcinogen.