May 24, 2012

Dioxin found in eggs in German poultry farm


The poisonous chemical dioxin had been found in higher than permitted levels in eggs from a poultry farm near Borken, in the northern German state of North Rhine Westphalia, the state Agriculture ministry said.

Five farms in the same state had been the source of the discoveries in April. The dioxin was discovered by the farm's own safety checks. The farm has been sealed off and the eggs produced were being traced and withdrawn from sale while the source was being sought, the ministry said.

Dioxin presents a danger to health if consumed over long periods but small doses are not harmful. The ministry said it sees no acute danger to public health from the find because of the need for long-term consumption.

In January 2011, an EU-wide health alert started when German officials said animal feed tainted with highly-poisonous dioxin had been fed to hens and pigs, contaminating eggs, poultry meat and pork at the affected farms. A series of new measures including tough restrictions on animal feed ingredients were introduced following the alert.

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