Contaminated eggs : traces of fipronil detected as early as September 2016

The agency has been able to analyze these last days of the “historic samples” of a belgian manufacturer of egg products, said its managing director, Herman Diricks. On the 14 samples that the company had retained for the month of September 2016, a sample had “slight traces of fipronil”, he added.

The rate found is less than 0.005 mg per kg of egg, which is in accordance with the european regulation to a residual presence of the substance, said a document of the federal Agency for the safety of the food chain.

A detection for large amounts ingested only

No presence of this insecticide banned in the food chain has not been detected in the egg samples from the period of October to December 2016 shall be kept by the manufacturer of egg products, which are provided from farms of several countries.

But this substance is “moderately toxic” when it is consumed in large quantities, according to the world health Organization (WHO), appears to be present more frequently from January of this year.

“From January to may of 2017, we have been able to find traces of fipronil in 10 of the 35 samples. All of these rates are below the threshold provided for in the european regulations, explained Mr. Diricks.

The belgian authorities want to be reassuring

A health crisis erupted at the beginning of August around the contamination of tens of millions of eggs, which originates from the disinfection of rearing of laying hens in Belgium, the netherlands, Germany and France, with a product containing fipronil, an antiparasitic strictly forbidden in the food chain. It now reaches 18 countries in Europe, but also Hong Kong and Lebanon.

Several companies in belgium or the netherlands are in the crosshairs of the law for having placed on the market or apply this product presented as “natural”, the DEGA-16, in the farms.

The belgian minister of Agriculture, Denis Ducarme, for his part, assured the Belgium had managed to isolate the problem. With the exception of 21 farms still blocked, “the whole industry of egg production in Belgium is now tested and guaranteed without fipronil”, the minister said.

“We emerge gradually from the crisis of fipronil”, he added.

Tens of millions of eggs from hen houses contaminated have already been destroyed in Belgium and the netherlands, where some 150 farms have been blocked. The food industry fearful of a shortage, the price of eggs fixed every Wednesday at the auction market in Belgium increased by 2.5% this week, after rising 6% last week.

(with agencies)

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