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Swiss eggs confirmed free from insecticide Fipronil

The Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office has given the all-clear to Swiss eggs after a series of random tests. Traces of the insecticide fipronil were found in eggs imported from the Netherlands earlier this month.

A total of 48 Swiss eggs selected from four distribution centres showed no traces of the insecticide. Different kinds of eggs from a variety of farms were represented in the tests.

“Swiss eggs can therefore be consumed without fear,” said a government statement.

On August 4, supermarket chains Aldi Switzerland, Migros and Coop withdrew all imported eggs from sale at their stores as a precaution. Later, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office announced that residues of the insecticide fipronil had been detected in eggs imported from the Netherlands.

Fipronil is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be moderately toxic, with high doses leading to feelings of nausea and dizziness. Very large quantities can cause damage to the kidneys, liver and lymph glands.

Investigators suspect the chemical may have got into eggs through a contaminated detergent against mites called Dega 16 that is used to clean barns. Criminal investigations have been launched in Belgium and the Netherlands. The use of products containing fipronil in agriculture has been banned in Switzerland since 2014.

swissinfo.ch and agencies