EU working with Germany to manage dioxin contamination

07 January 2011 16:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU is working with German authorities to try to manage possible large-scale contamination after animal feed produced for poultry and swine containing potentially toxic dioxins was fed to livestock across the country, the European Commission said on Friday.

"The proper management of the dioxin incident in Germany is of utmost importance for the Commission and must be pursued with urgency and effectiveness,” said John Dalli, the commissioner in charge of health and consumer policy.

“In the coming weeks, I will explore with our EU partners and stakeholders ways to further strengthen our monitoring processes of dioxin in feed," he added.

Sales of poultry, pork and eggs has been halted in Germany at close to 5,000 farms after fatty acids, which were meant to be used for industrial purposes, were mixed with vegetable feed fat.

According to media reports, German authorities believe some 150,000 tonnes of feed produced by Harles & Jentzsch for poultry and swine containing industrial fat had been fed to livestock across the country.

Harles & Jentzsch is a producer and trader of animal and vegetable feed fats and fatty acids for the chemicals industry. A spokesman at the company said it was unable to comment while inquiries were ongoing. 

The sale of some animal products imported from Germany was on Friday banned by South Korea and Slovakia, while UK and Dutch authorities were investigating whether products containing German eggs were safe to eat.

According to industry association Euro Chlor, dioxins are a group of chemical compounds that are unintentional by-products of certain industrial, non-industrial and natural processes, often related to combustion.

They are persistent organic pollutants. The many different types of dioxin vary greatly in toxicity, from harmless to very toxic.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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