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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dioxin contamination in Germany: MEPs call for stricter controls, penalties

 

 

 

The EU is considering stricter food security rules following the recent dioxin scandal in Germany. The cancer-causing compound was found in eggs and poultry, some of which were exported to other EU countries. MEPs debated the issue with European Commission representatives during the January plenary and during the Environment Committee on 24 January. In December 2010 German health authorities discovered dioxins in eggs and poultry after  fat intended for use in industry was mixed with animal feed. Thousands of farms in Germany were closed. Potentially contaminated exports have been reported in the Netherlands and Britain and have also found their way to France and Denmark. Several countries have since banned imports of German farm products, including Slovakia, South Korea and China. Although the eggs found on certain farms in Germany had five times the legal limit of dioxin, consumers would have to eat vast quantities of eggs, or their by-products, for it to pose a serious risk to human health. The Commission has said there are no grounds for a ban on exports of German products as they pose "no immediate health risk" and called the import restrictions by South Korea "out of proportion".

Source: European Parliament