Contaminated eggs scandal hit 15 European Union states, besides Switzerland, Hong Kong: EC

Reem Saad  Doha News

Reem Saad Doha News

Fifteen EU countries as well as Switzerland and Hong Kong are said to have received eggs contaminated with the insecticide fipronil, according to the European Commission.

Ministers and food safety chiefs from around the European Union are set to meet on September 26 in a bid to get countries to stop "blaming and shaming" each other over the scare involving the chemical fipronil.

Chan said the CFS took action after two egg samples imported from the Netherlands were found to contain excessive insecticide earlier this month. Eggs or egg products from those producers have reached Austria, Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as Switzerland and Hong Kong outside the EU.

Millions of eggs and egg-based products have been pulled from European supermarket shelves since the scare went public on August 1 and there are growing questions about who knew what, and when.

European Union trade and agriculture spokesman Daniel Rosario said Friday that farms have also been blocked in France and Germany, and named 13 other countries that have received products from those countries.

"The aim is to draw the relevant lessons and discuss the ways to continuously improve the effectiveness of the European Union system to deal with food fraud", Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said. "We need to work together to draw the necessary lessons and move forward instead of losing energy on finger pointing", commissioner Andriukaitis said.

It's believed that the insecticide got into the food chain when it was illegally added to a product used to treat poultry for lice, fleas and ticks.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) says that when eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

It is unclear how many affected eggs have been delivered in total. Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme said in a statement he was "very interested" in having a meeting of ministers from countries affected by the fipronil scandal.

Dutch and Belgian investigators carried out coordinated raids on several premises on Thursday, arresting two people at Chickfriend.

France's agriculture minister says tests on imported eggs contaminated with pesticide show no risk to public health. Contamination hasn't been confirmed but they came from farms where contaminated eggs were found.

Travert said on RMC radio Friday that some 244,000 eggs imported from the Netherlands and Belgium and sold in France were affected.

Fresh discoveries of contaminated eggs have continued daily.

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