January 18, 2011
EU experts to follow up on Germany's dioxin scare
The EU is to send a team of experts to Germany to follow up on the scandal of animal feed tainted with the cancer-causing substance dioxin, officials said Monday (Jan 17).
At the height of the scare, the authorities locked down some 5,000 German farms. Over 4,000 have been allowed to re-open, but on Saturday (Jan 15) over 900 more were closed for checking. The mission of EU experts "will go to see how they can assist the German authorities, in the follow-up and monitoring of this question," European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent said.
Under EU rules, each member state is responsible for health and food safety in its territory, but the commission coordinates between them in the event of cross-border contamination. According to commission figures, eggs from farms which were suspected of contamination were shipped to the Netherlands in December, with one consignment sent on to Britain.
Last week it emerged that pork from suspected farms had also been sent to Poland and the Czech Republic, while Denmark, France and Italy were also thought to have received possibly contaminated goods. "It is up to the local authorities to check if those products were contaminated," Vincent said. EU agriculture ministers are to discuss the scare on Monday (Jan 17).