Avoid eggs from back garden
Eggs of free range chickens contain between three and five times more dioxins than allowed, says scientific research.1 April 2008
BELGIUM - Newly-released scientific research shows that the eggs of free range chickens contain between three and five times more dioxins than allowed. The eggs in question are produced in back gardens by non-professionals.
Scientists are advising people to purchase their eggs in the supermarket.
Several years ago, the Federal Food Safety Agency warned that there was a risk that free range eggs were being contaminated with dioxins.
Last year, for the first time, the Scientific Institute for Public Health carried out extensive research.
The results have now been released.
Free range eggs contain levels of dioxins that are between three and five times above the norm.
The scientists also discovered excessive levels of PCB's.
DDT is still with us
Researchers at the universities of Antwerp, Ghent and Liège also unearthed heavy metals including lead.
In some instances traces of DDT, a dangerous pesticide that was banned many years ago, have also been detected.
Professor Leo Goeyens of the Flemish Free University of Brussels (VUB) believes that soil pollution is the cause of the contamination.
Free range chickens pick their food from the soil and this is how the contamination enters the food chain.
The researchers maintain that there isn't really a problem, because the contaminated eggs are not sold on a large scale in the shops.
They are urging consumers to stick to the supermarkets for their purchases of eggs.
Eggs produced by battery hens undergo far more checks and comply with all the norms.
Professor Goeyens is advising people to avoid eating eggs produced by hens in back gardens.
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