The Dutch, Belgian and German farm
ministries have sealed off farms after discovering
cancer-causing dioxin in animal feed. The issue will be
discussed by the Commission to ensure the feed is not exported
to further countries.
A total of 162 Dutch, eight Belgian and three German
farms have been closed after discovering they had bought
a potato feed product that was contaminated with dioxin,
a cancer-causing chemical. Authorities in the three
countries have temporarily shut down all the farms
as a precaution and have been examining the feed and the
animals. Until the tests are completed, the suspected
animals will not enter the food chain.
According to the manufacturer of the contaminated
feed, the reason for the contamination is a clay used for
sorting potatoes. McCain Foods Holland has now
launched a broader investigation and halted feed sales
from its three Dutch factories last week.
Contaminated feed was at the root of recent European
food scares such as the discovery of an illegal hormone
in Dutch pigs in 2002 and the 1999 Belgian scandal of
dioxin in chickens.
The European Commission, which has further tightened
hygiene requirements on animal feed this year, said EU
traceability and alert notifications systems are
working well. “
Member State authorities and the Commission are
co-operating closely to ensure that safety of consumer is
not jeopardised. Together we will act swiftly yet
responsibly. So far, our system of traceability and alert
notifications is working well. It is vital that the
confidence of the consumer in our food chain is
” said Health Commissioner David Byrne. The
Commission has requested all Member States to investigate
whether separation processes using the trouble causing
clay are current practice within their territories.