Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Egg-sasperated Brussels ministers arrange high-level meeting over egg scandal

Egg-sasperated Brussels ministers arrange high-level meeting over egg scandal Egg-sasperated Brussels ministers arrange high-level meeting over egg scandal
Earnest Maxwell | 12 August, 2017, 01:48

Fipronil is a widely-used anti-lice agent used to spray farm animals, is absorbed into the skin, and passes into hatched eggs.

It has also been reported that hundreds of thousands - and possibly millions - of hens could possibly need to be culled in the Netherlands as a result of the scare over the use of the insecticide fipronil.

It can cause damage to the liver, thyroid glands and kidneys, if consumed in large quantities, though this has only been tested on rats.

"The number of eggs involved is small in proportion to the number of eggs we eat, and it is very unlikely that there is a risk to public health".

The FSA insisted the recalls - which included Sainsbury and Asda salads - were not issued on food safety concerns, but because fipronil is banned from use on food-producing animals.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi had withdrawn suspect batches sold in Luxembourg but "contaminated eggs were sold on the Luxembourg market", the government announced.

The Food Standards Agency said it had found evidence that some 700,000 eggs had been imported over the period it is known fipronil was being used on Dutch poultry farms, Europe's biggest exporter of eggs.

Marieke van der Molen of the Dutch National Prosecutor's Office says investigators from the country's food safety watchdog are conducting the raids in the Netherlands.

In joint raids with Belgium, Dutch prosecutors said they had arrested "two managers at the company that allegedly used the substance at poultry farms", with Dutch media naming the suspects' firm as Chickfriend.

Testing of eggs on farms is under way across the United Kingdom and results to date for England and Wales show no exposure to Fipronil.

While officials from the UK's Food Standard Agency (FSA), a body responsible for protecting public health with relation to food, is doing its best to calm people, already major supermarkets here have taken a hit.

Recall millions of eggs recalled from stores and warehouses in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium after they were discovered by toxic insecticides.

Meanwhile, Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme has accused the Dutch authorities of knowing about the problem as far back as November 2016.

But it did say that all egg imports undergo "periodic analysis and inspection" at ministry food laboratories, and now meet all approved standards.

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