Dutch dioxin fodder seized
2 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) asked the European Commission this week to block the transport of almost 3.7 million kilos of Dutch fodder on suspicion it contained too much dioxin.
2 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) asked the European Commission this week to block the transport of almost 3.7 million kilos of Dutch fodder on suspicion it contained too much dioxin.
The authority's announcement came a day after a confidential report leaked to an animal rights grouped indicated Dutch animal food producers process waste material into their products. It said that widespread corruption in the industry threatens consumer safety.
The seized transport of fodder was destined for British and Dutch livestock holders. The VWA said the entire transport was recovered before being fed to livestock, news agency ANP reported on Wednesday.
Fed primarily to milk cows, the grass-based fodder has been removed from the market as a precautionary measure. The VWA said an uncontaminated transport of the fodder had heated up before bursting into flames, leading to possible dioxin contamination.
Authorities are now investigating whether the fodder actually contains too much dioxin, which is a carcinogenic. But a VWA spokeswoman said the initial results of tests will not be known for another 10 days.
The revelation comes after a report drawn up in 2003 by the national police service KLPD and the Health Ministry indicated that waste products from animal medicines and offal are regularly mixed into fodder. It said the practice could pose a risk to public health.
The Lower House of Parliament was to debate the report on Wednesday afternoon. But the VWA spokeswoman also said the seized transport was not linked to alleged corruption in the Dutch fodder industry.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner dismissed concerns that fodder mixed with waste products constituted a risk to consumer safety. But he said an investigation into industry breaches had been given the highest priority.
The VWA has been keeping a close eye on the fodder industry since October last year. Out of 227 inspected companies, 30 are accused of breaching regulations and risk losing their licence if a second inspection — to be held within three months — indicates further breaches.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news