The scandal surrounding fipronil eggs is even greater than previously thought: 45 countries are affected, including almost all EU countries. The EU agriculture ministers have now discussed the consequences in a meeting.
Eggs and egg products contaminated with fipronil were discovered in 26 of the 28 EU member states – only Lithuania and Croatia are apparently not affected. In Europe, the insecticide was also found in Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Fipronil finds were also found in 16 other countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Canada, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung online.
The egg scandal has drawn much wider circles than initially thought. For this reason, the fipronil eggs were the subject of an EU ministerial meeting on Tuesday. Agriculture and fisheries ministers from EU countries discussed the consequences of the crisis in Tallinn (Estonia).
After the egg scandal: More efficient rapid warning system needed
Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt called for the EU’s rapid alert system to become more efficient. "I expect the European rapid alert system to live up to the name," says Schmidt .
Schmidt says that any prohibited substance should be reported immediately across Europe in the future. If it is not certain whether a certain substance is actually hazardous to health, the other EU countries should still be warned in case of doubt. In addition, the standards would have to be harmonized at European level.
Egg summit in September
The ministerial meeting on Tuesday was just the beginning. A major EU meeting is scheduled for September 26, to which ministers and senior officials have been invited. The summit will then be about concrete measures.
How did the fipronil get into the eggs?
Fipronil is an insecticide that is widely used in veterinary medicines against fleas, mites and ticks. Fipronil should not be used in animals such as chickens bred for human consumption, especially not in organic farms.
Apparently, however, the insecticide was improperly buried in a mite control agent normally used with essential oils called Dega-16 and may have been used by the suppliers of the poison eggs without their knowledge. "According to our current state of knowledge, 100 Dutch, four German and one Belgian company have received Dega-16," says the Association for Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry (KAT)..
"The food sector is extremely susceptible to fraud," comments Martin Rücker, Managing Director of the foodwatch consumer organization, "It is unfortunately no surprise that neither authorities nor companies have noticed the use of a banned substance or informed the public about it over a longer period of time."
Whether this was really the case is still being investigated.
How toxic are the eggs with fipronil?
As usual, the dose makes the poison. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the effects of fipronil on humans as “moderately toxic”. Only in large quantities can it cause damage to the kidneys, liver or thyroid.
Very few of the eggs were so heavily loaded that they can really be called poison eggs. The Dutch Food Inspectorate NVWA, which had warned of the eggs, primarily called eggs with the egg code here 2 GB 4,015,502 and 2-NL-4015502 so heavily burdened that you shouldn‘t eat them under any circumstances.
Otherwise, if consumed in the usual quantities, the worst could be nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and seizures, according to the NVWA.
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment () has published a scandalously difficult to understand rating for Fipronil in eggs, which ultimately states that there is currently no "concrete health risk" for adults with "normal" consumption behavior, even with loaded eggs, but "possible" is a "risk" for children.
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) puts it this way: "According to the responsible Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), according to the current data (August 5, 2017), an acute health risk to the consumer groups under consideration, including children, is unlikely."
This is countered by a warning from the portal operated by the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVEL). It references (as we will see below) the. This is divided into three lists, the first list being the heavily used number 2-NL-4015502 calls, the second list includes stamp numbers of eggs, which according to BVEL "should not be consumed by children" – but quite a few are already in circulation.
Christin Meyer, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the State of Lower Saxony, criticized the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and associated authorities "for misleading claims about health risks". The argument that children – given average consumption in Germany – pose no health risk even with the maximum values of eggs contaminated with fipronil in Belgium, downplayed the problem. If, for example, a child in Lower Saxony eats more eggs than the average of 0.6 eggs a day consumed in Germany, "then the daily intake dose of this poison has already been exceeded". So stay with it: “Zero tolerance applies to this toxic substance. He has no business in food. "
How long has Fipronil been in the eggs?
According to various media reports, eggs contaminated with fipronil have been sold since June. "We knew from the beginning of June that there might be a problem with fipronil in poultry farming," said Katrien Stragier, spokeswoman for the Belgian Food Safety Authority.
So we may have been eating "poison eggs" for two months. Why were EU authorities headquartered in the Belgian capital informed only on July 20? Supposedly, the risk that consumers could be harmed by the eggs was weighed against the possibility of being able to investigate undisturbed by keeping silent.
On July 27, the BMEL commissioned a risk assessment from the BfR. A first consumer warning was given on August 1st. out. For a question-and-answer list, they asked until 5.8. Time (there is).
How to recognize the insecticide-contaminated eggs?
You have one of the following egg codes:
Eggs from Germany:
Eggs from Belgium:
2 GB 4,015,502
Eggs from the Netherlands:
A constantly expanding list leads the .
What eggs should I buy?
Eggs are known to be food of animal origin – and as always, less is more. In this post we explain which eggs are recommended.
Whether for Easter or the rest of the year: we Germans eat a lot of eggs. How to distinguish organic eggs from free range eggs and …
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