Dioxin scare closes Belgian pig farms
HUNDREDS of pig farms were shut down in Belgium, Holland and France yesterday as the crisis sparked by animal feed contaminated with a cancer-causing dioxin deepened.
European Union officials who ordered the destruction of contaminated chickens and eggs are now considering extending that order to pigs.
About a quarter of Belgian poultry farms are thought to have been supplied with animal feed containing the chemical dioxin from a single manufacturer of fats.
Two people have been arrested and charges of fraudulent accounting have been lodged against the Verkest fats processing company, based near Ghent.
The European Commission has instructed member countries to find and destroy all products with an egg content above 2% if the eggs came from Belgium.
The Belgian government had earlier ordered the removal of Belgian chickens and eggs from shops, and halted the wholesaling of products containing eggs.
European farm commissioner Franz Fischler criticised the Belgian governments handling of the affair, saying the commission reserved the right to prosecute Belgian authorities.
Britain imported 810 tonnes of processed eggs from Belgium and Luxembourg in 1998, about 15% of the imported total, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
- The Times 03/06/02/99 page 18
- The Independent 03/06/02/99 page 11
- Financial Times 03/06/06/99 page 3
- The Guardian 03/06/99 page 2
- The Daily Telegraph 03/06/99 page 4
- The Herald 03/06/99 page 1, page 13