GERMANY: Dioxin scandal spreads
Posted: January 6th, 2011 - 1:24pm
Source: The Local
Some 3,000 tonnes of dioxin-contaminated fatty acids used to enrich animal feed have been distributed in at least four German states, according to official estimates. As the scandal continues to spread, the authorities are shutting down more farms as a precaution.
Assuming a mixture ratio of between two and ten percent, there could be from 30,000 to 150,000 tonnes of toxic feed for egg-laying hens, pigs and poultry in Germany.
The German government is considering tougher regulations for the industry while the European Union has demanded an explanation of how animal feed became contaminated with the potentially poisonous substance.
Another 139 farms in North Rhine-Westphalia were closed late on Tuesday as a precaution and officials in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Wednesday said they had shut six pig farms.
More than 1,100 farms have now been shut down since Monday after authorities were alerted to shoddy feed production practices at a Schleswig-Holstein agriculture firm, Harles & Jentzsch. The firms admitted it had been “careless” in making animal feed from vegetable oils created as by-products of biofuel manufacturing.
Meanwhile, AFP reported potentially contaminated eggs that have caused a health scare in Germany were also exported to the Netherlands, the government said on Wednesday after the European Commission asked for more information.
A total of 136,000 eggs were delivered to a firm in the Netherlands from the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, and the Dutch firm has been informed, a spokesman for the agriculture ministry told reporters.
This amount compares to a total annual production of more than 10 billion eggs in Germany, authorities say.