Germany detects illegal dioxin levels in poultry

Jan 09, 2011 By JUERGEN BAETZ , Associated Press
In this picture taken Jan. 6, 2011 turkey hens look for feed in Neerstedt near Oldenburg, northern Germany after it was closed. German authorities have stopped more than 4,700 farms from selling their meat and eggs as a precautionary measure against a growing scandal over animal feed contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals that is also affecting exports. Authorities believe some 150,000 tons of feed for poultry and swine containing industrial fat have been fed to livestock across Germany. The fat contains dioxins and should not have been in the food. (AP Photo / Keystone / David Hecker)

(AP) -- German investigators have found excessive levels of cancer-causing dioxin in chicken - the first such confirmation of tainted meat since the discovery that German farm animals had eaten contaminated feed, possibly for months.

Three - out of 15 samples of chicken, turkey and pork sent to the EU Commission - showed a concentration twice as high as legally allowed, an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

The spokesman said the chicken meat had not been sold but eating it would not have been harmful in the short term since the contamination levels were so low. He declined to be named in line with government policy.

Excessive dioxin levels were previously discovered in German .

Germany had frozen sales of , pork and eggs from more than 4,700 farms to stem the spread of food that could have been contaminated with dioxin. On Saturday, Lower-Saxony state's ministry lifted the ban for 500 dairy farms after tests on milk, butter and cheese showed no dioxin contamination.

Investigators are probing the German firm Harles & Jentzsch GmbH, which had produced fat used in the tainted feed pellets. Samples of the fat contained up to 73 times the approved amount of dioxin, according to tests published Saturday by the Schleswig-Holstein state agriculture ministry. Earlier tests on Friday had found a concentration 77 times above the legal limit.

The state ministry said it had proof the firm had been producing tainted fat for months.

Dioxins are contaminants that often result from industrial combustion, and exposure to them at high levels is linked to an increased incidence of cancer.

The scandal broke after regular random testing revealed excessive dioxin levels in eggs in western Germany.

South Korea and Slovakia on Friday banned the sale of some German imports, while Britain, Italy and the Netherlands launched investigations into food safety.

In Britain, supermarkets giants Tesco, Morrison's and Sainsbury's removed cakes, quiches and other egg products from their shelves after confirming that eggs contaminated with dioxins had been used to produce them.

The British Food Standards Agency said the supermarkets had already sold most of the affected food, which had a short shelf life, but added the risks to humans were minimal.

"There is no food safety risk from eating these products," the agency said on its website.

Italian Health Minister Ferruccio Fazio said his ministry had asked all farmers who import eggs, milk or meat from Germany to check on dioxin levels, but said no Italian farmers had imported the contaminated feed.

Explore further: Loud talking and horseplay in car results in more serious incidents for teen drivers

3.5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Germany halts pork, egg sales in dioxin scare

Jan 07, 2011

(AP) -- Germany froze sales of poultry, pork and eggs from more than 4,700 farms Friday to stem the spread of food contaminated with cancer-causing dioxin, as fears grew that farmers could have been using ...

Scientists use bacteria to pinpoint chloride toxins

Sep 03, 2008

Scientists have studied the sensor with which bacteria detect chloride compounds, many of which can be carcinogenic or dangerous to the environment, and now hope to speed up identification of these dangerous toxins from weeks ...

Recommended for you

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

2 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care (Update)

17 hours ago

President Barack Obama said Thursday 8 million Americans have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges, besting expectations and offering new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead ...

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2011
Reminds one of the melamine scandal in China.

I would like to hear marjon's/ryggesogn2's rant on this subject. "Evil government is stealing the wealth of free individuals by closing farms"? "Let the consumers decide which products they favor, without any intervention by the government"?
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
We need to go back to the 'good ole days' when there were only legal dioxin levels.
frajo
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
We need to go back to the 'good ole days' when there were only legal dioxin levels.
We need to advance to the days where it is not anymore possible to make profits by endangering the life of unknowing consumers.
Roj
not rated yet Jan 09, 2011
We need to advance to the days where it is not anymore possible to make profits by endangering the life of unknowing consumers.
Roger That.
Skepticus
3 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2011
This will give the Westerner a real taste of the US courts' bullshiting that dioxin-laden Agent Orange was not responsible for the birth defects and other illnesses the vietnnamese suffered!
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Jan 10, 2011
This will give the Westerner a real taste of the US courts' bullshiting that dioxin-laden Agent Orange was not responsible for the birth defects and other illnesses the vietnnamese suffered!
The principle of "sovereign immunity" is an indicator of the social maturity of a society as it not only allows to kill and violate masses of innocent people without being punished but also doesn't care for the injustice of killing (guilty) members of other governments.
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 10, 2011
This will give the Westerner a real taste of the US courts' bullshiting that dioxin-laden Agent Orange was not responsible for the birth defects and other illnesses the vietnnamese suffered!


How does Gary Cooper fit into this?
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 10, 2011
We need to advance to the days where it is not anymore possible to make profits by endangering the life of unknowing consumers.
Roger That.

"Oveur, Unger". What do you make of this?

More news stories

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...