BELGIUM, Brussels. The European Union's executive arm said that Belgian authorities took around a month to notify it about the discovery of eggs contaminated with low levels of an insecticide, although EU member states are required to do so "immediately." This was reported by ABC News.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said that "no information about this contamination incident was provided" until July 20. Tainted eggs were found in Belgium in June. EU states "have a legal obligation" to notify the Commission immediately if they have information about a threat to human health.
Belgian food safety authorities say that of 86 farms checked, 21 were found to have traces of Fipronil, which is banned in products for animals like chickens that are part of the human food chain. The levels detected are seven times below the European limit for what is considered dangerous. It's believed that Fipronil got into the food chain when it was illegally added to a product used to treat poultry for lice and ticks.
Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme has vowed to shed light on the contamination, but says that consumers are not at risk. He underlined that the only Fipronil levels found are "well below the European limit." No egg shortages have been signaled at Belgian supermarkets.
Meanwhile, officials in the German state of Lower Saxony called for a Europe-wide ban on fipronil, where several farms were affected after receiving disinfectant containing the chemical.