- Title: German regional minister calls on government not to downplay egg scandal
- Date: 8th August 2017
- Summary: LANDSHUT, GERMANY (FILE - 2011) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HENS VARIOUS OF EGGS BEING SORTED
- Embargoed: 22nd August 2017 17:23
- Keywords: egg scandal Netherlands Belgium Germany Lower-Saxony ministers agriculture
- Location: BERLIN, FRANKFURT, LANDSHUT, HANOVER, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, FRANKFURT, LANDSHUT, HANOVER, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA0026TAR9S7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Regional ministers in the German state of Lower Saxony on Tuesday (August 8) urged the government not to downplay the contamination of millions of eggs with a potentially harmful insecticide Fipronil.
Lower Saxony, which borders the Netherlands has shut down five hen farms over the scandal with investigations ongoing into a letterbox company that may also be involved.
Speaking from the state capital Hanover, the regional minister of agriculture, Christian Meyer, said that while the contaminated farms had been contained it was essential that the government took the matter seriously.
"They need to clearly admit that with a consumption of on-average two eggs a day...the levels for children are significantly over the warning levels provided by the EU. So there is a risk of harm being caused by these products," Meyer said.
Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarkets in Germany and the Netherlands in a widening scandal over possible contamination by Fipronil that has triggered investigations by prosecutors in Belgium and the Netherlands, and the temporary shutdown of some poultry farms.
Fipronil is a popular insecticide to treat pets for fleas and ticks but it is forbidden for use in the food chain because it may cause organ damage in humans if large quantities are ingested.
Dutch and Belgian authorities have pinned the source of the insecticide to a supplier of cleaning products in the Netherlands.
Batches of possibly contaminated eggs from the Netherlands and Germany had also been shipped to Sweden, Switzerland, France and Britain, EU filings showed last weekend.
The issue has drawn widespread attention in Germany and discount supermarket chain Aldi on Friday (August 4) said it was withdrawing all eggs from sale at its more than 4,000 stores in Germany as a precaution.
The World Health Organisation considers fipronil to be moderately toxic and says very large quantities can cause damage to the kidneys, liver and lymph glands.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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