January 30, 2006


Belgium shuts down farms in dioxin scare



Ninety-six Belgian pig and chicken farms were closed this weekend as the Belgian food safety agency investigated how a carcinogenic chemical made its way into pork fat destined to become animal feed, the Belgian press reported Saturday.


Millions of chickens and thousands of pigs had to be slaughtered in 1999 when dioxins entered the food chain through contaminated animal feed.


The FAVV-AFSCA agency said it is still tracing the source of dioxins found by a Dutch firm after four out of 30 samples tested positive for dioxins.


Levels of contamination were far below the levels found in the 1999 dioxin crisis, it said.


Test results for a gelatine supplier will be published Monday to rule that out of the enquiry. FAVV-AFSCA was also asking farmers to provide logs of all their animals' movements in recent months.


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