'Why are you so slow?' Brussels regulator DENOUNCED over contaminated eggs

  • 'Why are you so slow?' Brussels regulator DENOUNCED over contaminated eggs

'Why are you so slow?' Brussels regulator DENOUNCED over contaminated eggs

Around 700,000 imported eggs contaminated with a mildly toxic insecticide are now thought to have been used in processed products in the United Kingdom, with several retailers pulling affected stock from their shelves.

About 700,000 eggs have been sent to the United Kingdom from potentially contaminated Dutch farms, up from an early estimate of 21,000, the food watchdog has said.

The European Commission plans to hold a meeting about the contamination on September 26.

Eggs, coming mainly from the Netherlands, have been found to contain a fipronil, a substance used to kill lice and ticks on animals that is banned by the European Union for use in the food industry.

In Britain, the Food Standards Agency said it had found more eggs than previously believed had entered the food chain, mainly through processed food.

Numerous affected eggs will have already passed through the food chain before anyone was aware of the scandal.

Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda have been withdrawing 11 items - including sandwiches and salads - though some may have already been consumed.

Millions of eggs have been recalled from European supermarket shelves over concerns about the use of the pesticide.

Twenty tonnes of the contaminated eggs have been sold, according to the Denmark's food safety authority.

The FSA said the 700,000 figure represented 0.007% of eggs eaten in the United Kingdom each year.

The Food Standards Agency says it is "very unlikely" that the eggs posed a risk to public health. When eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

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.

With questions growing about how the contamination happened and whether consumers have been kept in the dark, pressure has grown on the two countries at the centre of the scandal-the Netherlands and Belgium.

The ensuing food-safety crisis has sparked diplomatic tension, shut hundreds of farms and forced supermarkets to clear eggs from their shelves.

The joint offensive came despite Belgium earlier accusing the Netherlands of knowing about the problem of fipronil in eggs since November 2016, but failing to inform them until July.

Belgian authorities admitted that a farm alerted them to possible contamination in June - several weeks before the scare became public knowledge - but they thought it was an isolated case.