More cattle treated with growth hormones
13 September 2006, BRUSSELS — Double the amount of cattle tested positive for growth hormones in 2005 compared with last year, the annual federal police report indicated.
13 September 2006
BRUSSELS — Double the amount of cattle tested positive for growth hormones in 2005 compared with last year, the annual federal police report indicated.
At least 250 cattle farmers used illegal products and about one in 10 cows were treated with growth hormones.
"We had similar high figures 10 years ago. Now, probably 5 to 15 percent of cows are infected. It cannot be said with certainty because the products are difficult to trace," national hormone magistrate Johan Sabbe said.
The figures were able to be compiled last year because an illegal growth hormone network was busted in Spain in 2005.
Thanks to good national and international co-operation, a serious blow was delivered to the hormone industry, news agency Belga reported on Wednesday.
"It is a small, but stubborn core of cattle farmers that continue to use illegal products," Federal Food Agency spokesman Pascal Hoebaert said.
The illegal products are also becoming increasingly difficult to trace.
Hoebaert said authorities were confronted last year with a cortisone preparation that was worked into other products and therefore difficult to find.
"Hence the importance of new testing methods in laboratories," he said.
Hoebaert also said a uniform method of sentencing needs to be agreed on. In 2005, the food agency imposed administrative sentences that were challenged by judges.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news