Fear Over Dioxin-Tainted Eggs Spreads in Europe

A scare over eggs that may have been tainted with dioxin at more than 4,700 German farms has spread to the Netherlands and the U.K., where some of the eggs were shipped.

European Union officials say the public should not be too worried about the levels of dioxin in the eggs, but they are also trying to determine which food products the dioxin was used in.

German officials shut down farms in five states on Monday, mainly in Lower Saxony, where it is believed the feed for hogs and chickens was contaminated with traces of dioxin, a potentially dangerous carcinogen. Millions of eggs were withdrawn from the market, and 8,000 chickens were culled.

Authorities said today they have filed criminal charges against the German company that allegedly supplied tainted fatty acid to animal feed makers, CNN reported. The company, Harles and Jentzsch, knew “for months” that the fatty acid it was selling to animal feed makers contained certain levels of dioxin, CNN said.

Charges were filed because the company “did not immediately inform” agricultural officials about the dioxin levels, according to a spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry.

Officials were alerted earlier this week that at least 3,000 tons of animal feed allegedly containing an additive with traces of dioxin had been sent to 1,000 farms in Germany. An estimated 136,000 eggs from those farms were then sent to the Netherlands and the U.K., the BBC reported today.

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