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Contaminated eggs: the scandal spreads

Ⓒ dpa/AFP/Archives – Marcel Kusch – | The Netherlands is testing meat from chicken farms affected by the contaminated egg case to determine if there is a possible presence of fipronil, a toxic molecule that has led to a health scandal, all of Europe.

The Netherlands is testing meat from chicken farms affected by the contaminated egg case to determine if there is a possible presence of fipronil, a toxic molecule that has led to a health scandal, all of Europe.

While tens of millions of eggs have been withdrawn from the sale since last week in several European countries, and after the crisis in France and the United Kingdom has spread, Chicken in the Netherlands, where the affair of fipronil was born.

“We are currently testing chicken meat in farms whose eggs have been infected to determine whether the meat is also contaminated,” Tjitte Mastenbroek, spokesman for the Dutch food security agency, told AFP on Tuesday. And sanitary NVWA.

Greatly affected by the scandal, Germany had called on Friday the Belgian and Dutch authorities to “quickly” light on the “criminal” adulteration of egg insecticide.

The use of fipronil is prohibited on animals destined for the food chain in the European Union.

“When one sees a criminal energy almost organized in a network, it is unacceptable,” Christian Agriculture Minister Schmidt commented firmly on Tuesday, criticizing once again the slowness of the Belgian and Dutch authorities to communicate.

The criminal investigation conducted by the NVWA under the authority of the Dutch prosecution service, in collaboration with the Belgian courts, on the role of companies and suppliers in the introduction of fipronil in Netherlands farms is still ongoing , Said Tjitte Mastenbroek.

The Dutch Security Investigation Bureau (OVV), which aims to “improve security, not to decide on guilt issues”, said on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation to find out why the alert Had not been given “earlier” and to determine “the roles of the authorities, the NVWA and the poultry sector” in this case.

In France, “thirteen lots of contaminated eggs from the Netherlands” were delivered in July to food processing companies located in the west of France, the French Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.

– After the eggs, the meat –

Ⓒ AFP – AFP – | Where does the egg come from?

“Detection of contaminated eggs was the highest priority. We now have the time and the place to” look at “meat,” the NVWA spokesman said. “Precautionary measure”.

Indeed, the probability that the molecule is detected in chicken meat is small, according to the LTO. “Broilers have no problem with the red louse as opposed to laying hens locked in a hen house for two years, which allows the parasite to develop,” said Eric Hubers, quoted in the Dutch media.

Analyzes are carried out on meat from chickens from farms that produce both eggs and meat, which corresponds to “a few dozen” sites in the country, according to the NVWA and the Dutch agricultural organization LTO.

“Most farms have a choice between one or the other,” said Eric Hubers, representative of the LTO’s poultry farmers.

If the tests are negative, these breeders whose distribution of eggs is blocked will have the right to reopen their meat branch, “said Tjitte Mastenbroek.

But if Fipronil is detected in the meat, “the livestock will remain completely blocked,” he added, while Dutch farmers could slaughter millions of chickens contaminated with insecticide in the days to come.

The scale of the crisis came to light last week in the Netherlands, where up to 180 farms were blocked and massive reminders were ordered, while fipronil rates sometimes exceeded the thresholds authorized by European regulations.

Other European countries, such as Austria, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria and Romania, said analyzes, although no egg directly imported into these countries is contaminated, according to food safety agencies. In Switzerland, major distributors withdrew imported eggs from impacted countries as a preventive measure.

The affair of fipronil is in addition to “numerous health scandals in the food industry, such as mad cow, avian and swine flu and horse meat,” according to Greenpeace. “Symptoms of a system that tries everywhere to reduce costs to maximize profits to the detriment of public health and the environment,” insisted Davin Hutchins in a statement.

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