EU struggles against dioxin scare

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The feed fat producing company in Germany, supposedly responsible for the current dioxin scandal, is bankrupt. While still hundreds of holdings remain under restriction by the German authorities, the source of the contamination of the fatty acids is still unclear.

On 27 December the German authorities informed the European Commission that a batch of fatty acids, which was meant to be used for technical purposes, got mixed with fat for the production of feed. The batch of fatty acids was produced in a biodiesel company named Harles and Jentzsch and was delivered to a feed fat producing company and contained higher levels of dioxin than allowed by EU law.

Compound feed produced with the potentially contaminated feed fat was delivered to laying hen, fattening poultry, pig, dairy cattle and bovine farms, mainly in Germany but also few batches of feed for breeding poultry to Denmark and France. 
 
Harles and Jentzsch filed in court for insolvency on Wednesday. The company is under investigation by prosecutors and may also potentially face vast civil claims from 5,000 German farms that were idled during this dioxin scare.

On 13 January 2011, 408 holdings remain under restriction by the German authorities. This is a significant decrease from the number of holdings blocked on 8 January. The lifting of restrictions on the other farms is due to favourable analytical results of tests done on products of animal origin originating from these farms, and/or further investigations which proved that the feed these farms have received, was compliant with EU legislation. Meanwhile China and South Korea suspended imports of edible pork, egg products and poultry from Germany.

The proper management of the dioxin incident in Germany was of utmost importance for the Commission and must be pursued with urgency and effectiveness, commented Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli.

Since the feed had higher levels of dioxin than those permitted by EU law measures to protect the health of the public were taken by the Germany’s authorities. The European Commission is also closely monitoring the situation with the German authorities.
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