Friday December 14th, 2018 6:56PM

EU plans talks as egg scandal hits 17 countries

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Friday that it plans to hold an extraordinary meeting late next month over a growing tainted egg scandal as it revealed that products contaminated with an insecticide have now spread to 17 countries.

Millions of eggs have been destroyed or pulled from supermarket shelves since July 20, when it was made public that the pesticide Fipronil, which is dangerous to human health, was found mixed with another treatment sprayed on chickens for ticks, fleas and lice, known as Dega 16.

Almost all lab tests show that only very low levels of Fipronil — seven to 10 times lower than the maximum permitted — have been detected in eggs from the treated chickens, although one test in Belgium was above the European limit. Poisoning by small doses has few effects and requires little treatment. Heavy and prolonged exposure can damage the kidneys and liver or cause seizures.

The scandal has caused major political fallout, with neighbors Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany squabbling over who is to blame, and who knew what and when. Poultry farmers have been hardest hit, and are blaming the chemical industry for compromising their business and exposing consumers to danger.

The EU's executive Commission said Friday that contaminated eggs have been found at producers in four countries; Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Eggs or egg products from those producers have reached Austria, Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden, as well as Switzerland and Hong Kong outside the EU.

The Commission announced that it is aiming to hold talks between EU ministers and food safety agencies concerned on Sept. 26.

"The aim is to draw the relevant lessons and discuss the ways to continuously improve the effectiveness of the EU system to deal with food fraud," Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.

She said the EU's "priority remains to manage the situation, to continue to coordinate and to reassure our citizens."

In France, Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said that tests on imported eggs contaminated with pesticide show no risk to public health.

Travert said on RMC radio Friday that some 244,000 eggs imported from the Netherlands and Belgium and sold in France were affected.

He said test results received overnight from the French food safety agency on affected eggs and egg products showed "the level of contamination does not present a risk for the consumer."

France has also confirmed one farm in the Nord-Pas de Calais region was found to have used Fipronil, and is now blocked from selling eggs.

The Agriculture Ministry says the French farm reported on July 28, as the scandal was coming to light, that Dega 16 had been used on the farm by a Belgian subcontractor, and the ministry claims no eggs concerned have been sold.

Danish food safety authorities say 20 tons of boiled and peeled eggs linked to the pesticide scandal were sold in recent months to a distributor in Denmark, which in turn sold them to canteens, cafes and catering companies in the country.

The agency said Thursday the Danish distributor, Danaeg Products, has been ordered to recall the eggs because "the content is illegal" but "not dangerous."

German Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Jennifer Reinhard said Friday "the facts need to be swiftly and fully investigated."

She noted that there are rapid alert systems that should be used if consumers are at risk.

"There must be no compromises when it comes to food safety," Reinhard said. "Information needs to be shared between (EU) member states without delay."

In Poland, Jan Bondar, a spokesman for the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, said that an estimated 40,000 potentially contaminated eggs have been imported but were not sold to consumers. He said the eggs came from the Netherlands and were delivered by a German company. Contamination hasn't been confirmed but they came from farms where contaminated eggs were found. He said the eggs would either be destroyed or returned to the producer.


Angela Charlton in Paris, Frank Jordans in Berlin and Vanessa Gera in Warsaw contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
EU plans talks as egg scandal hits 17 countries
The EU is planning an extraordinary meeting next month over the tainted egg scandal as products contaminated with an insecticide spread to 17 countries
9:03AM ( 4 minutes ago )
JC Penney extends a gloomy week for retailers
Sales at established JC Penney stores faded again during its most recent quarter, capping a gloomy week for U.S. retailers.
8:47AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Kenya waits to hear final results of already disputed vote
Kenya waits to hear final results of already disputed presidential vote; protests in Nairobi
8:38AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
What does North Korea really want? Its playbook offers clues
Pushing the envelope when the heat is on is what North Korea does best _ but what, ultimately, is Pyongyang trying to accomplish?
8:17AM ( 50 minutes ago )
As North plans missile launch, US, S. Korea ready war games
With tensions high, U.S. and South Korean military officials plan to move ahead with exercises that North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war
8:14AM ( 53 minutes ago )
London subway fire: 4 treated for smoke inhalation
Fire broke out on a London subway train, leaving passengers choking on smoke and sparking the rush-hour evacuation of one of the busiest stations on the transit network
7:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
North Korea tensions continue to weigh on global stocks
Global stock markets have slumped as President Donald Trump's bellicose remarks on North Korea prompted investors to unload shares in companies that have been on the rise
8:24AM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Danes find more eggs in contamination scandal
Denmark's food safety agency says Denmark-based Nordic Egg has imported two tons of scrambled eggs that contained the pesticide Fiprolin
8:17AM ( 50 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU plans egg scandal talks, next month
The EU says it wants to hold an extraordinary meeting late next month to discuss the egg contamination scandal
7:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Experimental defense unit funds new tech but faces skeptics
President Donald Trump's administration is endorsing a Barack Obama-era effort enlisting startup companies to develop solutions for the military's toughest technology challenges
10:04PM ( 11 hours ago )
Department stores _ except Nordstrom _ see sales metric drop
Macy's, which is trying to turn its business around, said Thursday that an important sales figure fell again in the latest quarter, its tenth straight quarter of sales declines.
6:08PM ( 15 hours ago )
Snapchat's not-growing pains are a boom for Instagram
Snap Inc. should be very worried about Facebook's Instagram Stories, which now has more users than Snapchat itself
5:21PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Poll: Most say time to end effort to repeal Obama health law
Poll: People want President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to try making the Obama health care law more effective and stop trying to scrap it
3:54AM ( 5 hours ago )
Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules
Pro-industry environmental decisions by the Trump administration are giving hope to a group that represents farmers in the Pacific Northwest
5:31PM ( 15 hours ago )
Extreme heat decimating crops in parts of Europe
Authorities and experts are warning that extremely hot and dry summer this year in the Balkans has decimated crops, dried rivers and hurt the animal world
2:46PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: More possibly tainted eggs found in Britain
British food safety authorities say far more eggs tainted with the pesticide Fipronil have been imported to the United Kingdom than previously thought, but say the number is a tiny fraction of the number of eggs consumed each year in the country
9:38AM ( 23 hours ago )
Belgium says Dutch found tainted eggs back in November
Belgium's agriculture minister says Dutch authorities knew that eggs in the Netherlands were contaminated with an insecticide in November and failed to notify their European partners
12:15PM ( 1 day ago )
Arizona high court rules for rancher in cattle brand fight
An Arizona rancher who fought for years to retain sole use of his cattle brand won big in the Arizona Supreme Court Thursday when the court ruled the state didn't have the legal right to issue it to another cattle company
5:56PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Egg executives in salmonella case must report to prison
A father and son whose Iowa-based egg production company caused a massive 2010 salmonella outbreak have exhausted their appeals and a federal judge has ordered them to begin serving prison sentences
12:59PM ( 1 month ago )
Tyson adopting video checks, animal rights groups want more
Tyson Foods has unveiled a plan to stop abuses down on the farm, but an animal rights group says monitoring slaughterhouses with video cameras won't stop other cruelty that exists within the poultry industry
6:00PM ( 1 month ago )
China, US reach agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas
China and US reach agreement on beef, poultry and liquefied natural gas
5:25AM ( 2 months ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
JC Penney extends a gloomy week for retailers
Sales at established JC Penney stores faded again during its most recent quarter, capping a gloomy week for U.S. retailers.
8:47AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Kenya waits to hear final results of already disputed vote
Kenya waits to hear final results of already disputed presidential vote; protests in Nairobi
8:38AM ( 30 minutes ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Poll shows most favor fixing, not scrapping, 'Obamacare'; Taylor Swift takes stand at sex assault trial; Jordan Spieth rebounds after shaky start at PGA Championship.
8:37AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Earnhardt calls Harvick's comments 'hurtful'
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he's proud of his accomplishments after Kevin Harvick suggested that NASCAR's growth has been hindered because Earnhardt hasn't won enough
8:32AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Paisley hopes to land punchlines with first comedy special
Brad Paisley credits his hosting duties with Carrie Underwood on the Country Music Awards as the gateway to his first comedy special. The "Brad Paisley Comedy Rodeo" premieres Tuesday on Netflix.
8:31AM ( 36 minutes ago )