Tainted eggs not a risk to public health, FSA claims

Tainted eggs not a risk to public health, FSA claims

Poultry farmers in the Netherlands have alleged that a substance that they bought from a Dutch-based farming company Chickfriend is what has caused introduced Fipronil into the eggs. Subsequent testing of eggs found them tainted with the banned insecticide, and around 180 Dutch farms have been locked down for testing.

The Belgian searches took place at eight sites in the Flanders region of Belgium, near the border with the Netherlands, the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reported.

"The Dutch investigation focused on the Dutch company that allegedly used fipronil, a Belgian supplier as well as a Dutch company that colluded with the Belgian supplier", the prosecutors said.

Millions of chicken eggs have been pulled from European supermarket shelves due to the presence of fipronil, with several European countries affected by the incident. The UK authorities together with retailers organized a withdrawal of such products from sale.

Fipronil is a widely-used anti-lice agent used to spray farm animals, is absorbed into the skin, and passes into hatched eggs.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers the insecticide to be "moderately hazardous" and says it can have risky effects on the liver, kidneys and thyroid glands. Eggs containing Fipronil residues haven't been sold as fresh eggs in the United Kingdom, but in other European countries they have.

FTSE 100 falls as N Korea tensions weigh on shares
Gold prices turned higher after unease over North Korea , reversing the downward move after the jobs data lifted the dollar. Economists polled by MarketWatch are forecasting a 0.2% monthly rise for both measures, after flat reading the prior month.

Illegal use of an insecticide has affected eggs sold in the United Kingdom, as well as Ireland, France and 12 other European Union countries.

The EU says it wants to hold a meeting late next month to discuss the scandal.

The number of eggs or egg products imported is very small.

The Food Standards Agency made the announcement today, and revealed that the products affected are mainly sandwich fillings or other chilled foods. Four major British grocery chains have withdrawn such products, including sandwiches and salads, the FSA said in a statement.

Although the number of affected eggs which have entered the country is 33 times higher than was originally estimated, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) stressed there is no need for panic.

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