Thu, 03 Aug 2017
NETHERLANDS - Authorities in The Netherlands have shut down around 180 poultry farms and recalled over one million eggs following the detection of a toxic substance in samples, reports Chris McCullough.
Authorities in the Netherlands have shut down around 180 poultry farms and recalled over one million eggs following the detection of a toxic substance in samples.
The Dutch food authority NVWA said the insecticide fipronil has been found in samples of eggs, meat and droppings.
Dutch and neighbouring German consumers, where the eggs have also been delivered to, have been warned not to eat eggs with a specific code as they may contain the substance and that they would be very harmful to their health.
As a precaution NVWA has closed down almost 200 poultry farms and recalled over one million eggs on route to Germany in a bid to contain the contamination.
Fipronil is more commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks. However, it is banned from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption such as chickens.
According to reports, the substance was introduced by Chickfriend, which is a Dutch company that was called in to treat red lice which is a parasite in chickens.
A NWVA spokesman said: "We are still estimating the number of farms which have been affected, and the analysis of 600 samples is still ongoing.
"Affected farms must have all eggs destroyed by a specialist firm and submit to the NWVA a plan to evacuate the birds' droppings to preserve the environment."
There are around 1,000 poultry farms in The Netherlands and chickens can remain contaminated for between six to eight weeks.
According to the World Health Organisation, fipronil can - in large quantities - can have dangerous effects on people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.
NWVA has already sent out a warning to consumers that eggs with the code X-EN-40155XX "had such elevated levels of fipronil that their consumption would present a serious public health risk."
Farmers are going to sustain huge losses over this incident and are blaming Chickfriend which is said to have mixed the illegal substance with a legal one to improve its effects.
However, it is unclear if this company or a company where it was supplied from in Belgium is responsible for mixing the substances together.
According to Erik Hubers from the Dutch agricultural and horticultural association, the company appears to have "mixed the illegal substance with a legal one to improve its effectiveness."
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