December 16, 2008

Ireland finds toxin level in feed ingredient 5,000 times over EU limit

The crumb mixture added to the pig feed on farms at the centre of the Irish pork crisis was found to contain levels of toxins 5,000 times over the EU limit, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Samples of the ingredient supplied by Millstream Power Recycling were tested for the toxic PCB chemical compounds at Britain's Central Science Laboratory (CSL). The contaminants were traced through the food chain.

Samples from pigs on affected farms were found to be 80-200 times above the EU limits.

A spokeswoman for the Food Safety Authority said the crumb was only one of the ingredients used in the feed that was given to the pigs, and that it may have made up as little as 10 percent of the mix.

Restrictions were placed on 45 beef farms after they were linked to the contaminated feed ingredient. As Ireland had no facilities to test for dioxins, the samples from 34 beef farms were also being tested in Britain.

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