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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 13:52 PM | 10-08-2017

Dutch, Belgians launch raids as Europe egg scandal grows

Dutch and Belgian investigators launched joint raids on Thursday (August 10, 2017) over Europe’s insecticide-tainted egg scare as Britain said it had imported far more contaminated eggs than originally revealed.

The spiralling scandal also spread to an eighth country, Luxembourg, which announced that it too had found eggs containing the insecticide fipronil, which can be harmful to human health, AFP reported.

Millions of eggs have been destroyed or taken off the shelves across Europe with growing questions about the extent to which consumers have been kept in the dark over the scale of the problem.

Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the EU from use in the food industry. It can harm people’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the countries at the epicenter of the scare, authorities said they carried out coordinated searches at several premises linked to a fraud probe about how fipronil got into the food chain.

“There are several raids being held in The Netherlands, in conjunction with the Belgians,” Dutch public prosecution service spokeswoman Marieke van der Molen told AFP, but declined to give further details.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor in Belgium’s northern port city of Antwerp said in a statement: “In connection with the fipronil case, several raids are currently being carried out.”

The joint action came despite Belgium one day earlier accusing the Netherlands of knowing about the problem of fipronil in eggs since November 2016, but failing to inform them until July.

The Belgian searches took place at eight sites in the Flanders region of Belgium, near the border with the Netherlands, Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reported.

Meanwhile British authorities said that around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in the scandal had been distributed in Britain, just days after saying the number was only 21,000.

As a result, four major British supermarket chains have withdrawn some products containing eggs, including sandwiches and salads, the Food Standards Agency said.

 

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