The Strategist

Eggs contaminated with insecticide Fipronil found in France, Britain

08/08/2017 - 17:50

Batches of chemical-contaminated chicken eggs have been found in two food factories in France. Britain is urgently investigating distribution of these products.

The scandal with Fipronil-infected chicken eggs has already affected France and Britain. Following the example of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland, the countries can begin to seize this product from stores. This was stated in the European Commission on Monday, August 7.
According to the representative of the European Commission Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, the authorities of France and the UK are warned about the risks and are trying to control distribution of the spoiled eggs.

The UK Food Standards Agency is investigating the case with chicken eggs contaminated with Fipronil. The product came from a farm in the Netherlands. The watchdog stressed that the quantity is small and the risk to the health of the population is low. It may well be so that these eggs are no longer on the shelves, the agency added.

Meanwhile, the French government announced 13 found lots of spoiled Dutch eggs at two food factories in the west of the country. The Ministry of Agriculture could not confirm whether eggs on the shelves of supermarkets were the same. One of the farms in the north of the country is also under supervision. 

The "egg" scandal went public after Germany's major retail chains Aldi and Rewe began to withdraw from the sale all eggs from the Netherlands. Fipronil, which is found on them, is used to fight insects. Already bought eggs could be return to stores without presenting the check.

According to the Minister of Agriculture of Germany Christian Schmidt, it is too early to end the investigation. The authorities are mow testing products that contain eggs: pasta, mayonnaise and salads. Although there is no confirmation that these products are contaminated, an enhanced control of its quality is currently under way.

According to Schmidt, the eggs were on sale in 12 out of 16 federal states of Germany. Most of them were found on the border with the Netherlands of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) says that Fipronil is used, among other things, to eliminate fleas, lice, mites and cockroaches. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, eating Fipronil-contaminated eggs is not a "specific" health threat, but the risk to children cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the scandal has already reached the political level. Christian Schmidt expressed disappointment that the Belgian authorities have been too late to inform about the situation. His Belgian counterpart, Denis Ducarme, in an interview noted that the investigation of the prosecutor's office was not the reason for withholding information about a possible danger to the health of consumers.

"I do not understand behavior of the department for supervision of products," Dukarme complained. This department was founded in 1999 after a scandal with a discovery of highly toxic dioxin in chicken eggs. Then, the dioxide scandal reached the European level; its investigation in Belgium was carried out by a special commissioner.

Now he blames the Belgian authorities for pulling the information about fipronil too long, making the same mistakes as in 1999. According to Willoks, this has damaged the trust among European partners and ordinary consumers.