German agricultural officials recently reported the discovery of the toxic chemical dioxin on several German farms at higher than permitted levels. The discovery is only heightening fears of German agricultural goods following similar discoveries in early 2011.
The farms in questions were centered in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, located near the French border. Following the discovery, the farm was sealed off and the eggs produced at the farm were removed from sale. German officials noted that the farm’s internal safety checks caught the chemical contamination. These announcements, they hope, will defuse fears about the safety of German agricultural goods.
Dioxin is a typical byproduct of several industrial operations ranging from paper production to pesticide and chemical manufacturing. Dioxins are also found naturally in almost all soils around the world in low levels. While consumption of small doses of dioxin is harmless, higher and more concentrated levels can pose health hazards.
The announcement feels like déjà vu to many European Union consumers, who experienced a similar scare back in early 2011, when it was discovered that 14 tons of potentially contaminated liquid eggs had been exported from Germany to the United Kingdom. In the wake of those discoveries, German farms began instituting stricter control of livestock feed in order to eliminate potential dioxin contamination.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer