Denmark and France are the latest countries affected by Germany's dioxin tainted feed and food scare, which indicates that the contamination is not contained to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK as was previously said.
Frédéric Vincent, health and consumer spokesman at the European Commission, said in Brussels in a news briefing broadcast Monday, that in Denmark, the feed was used for breeder hens, which are not in fact marketed.
“In the case of France, in the lot exported, apparently the concentration of dioxin was lower than the maximum authorized concentration allowed in E.U. law for animal feed,” Vincent said. He did not say whether animals had been exposed.
In Berlin, the German government tried to show that it was in control so as to avoid any hysteria or speculation that the dioxin was becoming a major health hazard.
Ilse Aigner, minister for consumer protection and agriculture, held a crisis meeting with regional farming organizations and animal food producers and agreed to examine new measures to improve food safety standards and prevent another health scare.
She called the meeting as the regional health and agricultural authorities adopted different positions after carrying out inspections.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, where 180 farms were closed last week but some were reopened over the weekend, 113 new farms were added to the list on Monday as inspectors stepped up their examination of feed fed to chickens and pigs in the state.
Number of locked farms down
In all, the number of sealed-off farms has been cut to 1,635 and could be further reduced in the coming days, said a spokesman for the agriculture minister.
The scare has led to temporary bans on German meat and poultry products exports to South Korea and Slovakia.
South Korea, which imported a total 6,266 tonnes of German pork in 2010, said no German livestock products had been found to be contaminated.
The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, part of the European Commission, is to meet today and tomorrow in Brussels.