Dioxins and Polychloride Biphenyl (PCB) have been found in Swiss meat, according to a report by the Swiss Farmers Association. A random sample investigation revealed that the levels exceed the maximum EU permitted levels.
A bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland states that Switzerland
is required to reduce the current levels of these substances even though the
amounts have lowered in the last few years. For this reason, the Swiss Federal
Office of Public Health (BAG) has announced that it is carrying out research
into the levels of dioxin and PCB in meat.
Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station (ALP) and a number
of Federal Research offices will investigate why levels of these substances are
higher than in neighbouring EU countries. The focus will be on PCB. They hope to
found out which factors influence PCB in meat (seasonal fluctuations,
geographical situation, age of animals and weather conditions) and the links
between PCB in meat and in feed.
No higher risk
BAG has stated that there is no evidence of a “higher risk” through consumption
of Swiss meat. On the other hand, it does acknowledge that part of the
population of Europe is consuming more than the WHO-recommended amounts of
Dioxins and PCB can enter the food chain via contamination of
feed and accumulate in the fat of animal food products. They can be found in
pork, beef, veal and poultry.