Slovak food inspectors find contaminated Dutch eggs

Gladys Abbott
August 10, 2017

"If we had seen this information communicated to our respective agencies, vigilance concerning Fipronil would have been greatly increased", Ducarme added.

Frankfurt am Main - German chemical giant BASF said on Thursday that it would not re-apply for European Union authorisation for some uses of pesticide Fipronil, which is at the heart of a tainted egg scandal that has set member states at odds.

The FSA said it was "reminding food businesses of their legal responsibilities which include informing the FSA or FSS, and relevant local authorities immediately if they have any reason to believe that a food which they have imported, produced, processed, or distributed does not comply with food safety requirements".

For now, though, the European Commission's head of health and food safety is striking a neutral tone in the dispute.

"The allegations that we knew about fipronil in eggs in November 2016 are untrue", NVWA inspector-general Rob van Lint said in a statement.

The Netherlands had closed 180 poultry farms last week, since the scandal came to the public's attention in late July and following a series of tests said that 138 would remain closed, with one batch of eggs posing "an acute danger of public health".

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Aldi earlier this month pulled all Dutch eggs from its stores in Germany.

Two Luxembourg suppliers of prepared meals, Caterman and Carnesa, also reported having received cartons of liquid eggs from a contaminated source in Belgium.

Food safety agencies in the U.K., France, Switzerland and Sweden have also been alerted to the risk.

Although the number of affected eggs which have entered the country is 33 times higher than was originally estimated, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) stressed there is no need for panic. "However, fipronil is not legally allowed for use near food-producing animals and it shouldn't be there".

In large quantities, the insecticide is considered by the World Health Organisation to be "moderately hazardous" and can have unsafe effects on people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

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