High levels of dioxin found in German pork

11th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

German authorities said Tuesday they have detected high levels of toxic dioxin in pork for the first time from a farm banned from selling since a scare last week.

"A test on the meat has shown high levels of dioxin content," Gert Hahne, a spokesman for the agriculture ministry in the state of Lower Saxony, told AFP. "The animals must be slaughtered and will then be incinerated."

The northern German farm was one of those supplied with animal feed containing ingredients made by a firm suspected of knowingly selling some 3,000 tonnes of fatty acids meant only for industrial use.

Last week Germany closed down around 4,700 of its 375,000 farms across the country while tests were conducted, but has gradually reopened most of them, leaving as of Monday 558 farms still subject to restrictions.

The government has said so far that there is no immediate risk to public health.

Around 100,000 eggs were destroyed, as South Korea suspended imports of German pork and Slovakia halted sales of German eggs and poultry meat, measures criticised by the European Commission as out of proportion.

"The damage that has been caused is immense, not only financially but also when it comes to consumer trust ... This is a scandal, as consumers who expect safe food were duped," federal Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said on Monday.

"This incident must and will have consequences."

© 2011 AFP

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