Fipronil scandal: 700000 eggs imported to UK

Aaron Brown
August 11, 2017

More than 700 thousand infected fipronil (insecticide, potentially risky for health) chicken eggs were supplied to Britain from the Netherlands, according to new data, the British Agency on standardization of food products.

AROUND 700,000 EGGS thought to have been contaminated with an insecticide in the Netherlands have been distributed in processed foods across Britain.

The majority of eggs consumed in Britain are from the UK.

However, 11 products containing egg - including sandwiches and salads - have been withdrawn from supermarkets.

About 700,000 chicken eggs contaminated with the Fipronil pesticide entered circulation in Britain, the Food Standards Agency said Thursday.

Indeed, it was not until 19 June this year, when the NVWA received specific information via "informal channels originating in Belgium" that fipronil had indeed been found in Belgian eggs, that suspicions were raised the spokesperson concluded.

The investigation into the fraud at the origin of the contamination of millions of eggs in Europe by the insecticide fripronil accelerated Thursday in Belgium and the netherlands, where the leaders of a company at the heart of the scandal have been arrested.

The eggs scandal that has led to millions of eggs being withdrawn from supermarket shelves in a number of European nations has reached Danish shores.

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Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.

Items sold at Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons are some of the affected products, the Food Standards Agency said.

The latest figure came from the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA). It is "very unlikely" there is any risk to public health, the FSA said. Based on the available evidence there is no need for people to change the way they consume or cook eggs.

"They are suspected of putting public health in danger by supplying and using fipronil in pens containing egg-laying chickens", prosecutors' spokeswoman Marieke van der Molen said. However, Britain imports annually nearly 2 billion eggs, the the Agency.

"All major United Kingdom retailers stock British Lion shell eggs and tests have shown that there is no risk from British eggs".

After authorities had initially given an all-clear, the third case of eggs contaminated with the insecticide fipronil was confirmed in Luxembourg. Last Friday, it said there was no evidence the United Kingdom was affected at all. "There was also no evidence that eggs contained fipronil", the spokesperson stressed.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) says the highest amount of fipronil measured was 1.2mg per kg of egg.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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