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UK Hikes Estimate of Pesticide Contaminated Eggs; No Public Health Risk Expected
11 Agosto 2017, 07:44 | Azura Castelo
France orders national investigation amid Europe tainted egg scandal
However, toxicologists say the quantities are so tiny as to pose no threat to human health and supermarkets have no plans for a product recall.
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.
EU Trade and Agriculture spokesman Daniel Rosario said on Friday that farms were shut down in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France after authorities confirmed that fipronil had been used.
The eggs have been found to contain fipronil, a chemical that can affect the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.
Despite the increase in affected eggs, the FSA stressed this still represented only 0.007% of the eggs consumed in the United Kingdom every year.
The UK's Food Standards Agency said the number of contaminated eggs estimated to have reached the UK was far higher than the 21,000 first supposed, and that egg salads from Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda, and sandwiches from Waitrose and Morrisons had been withdrawn.
While initially the Belgian food safety regulator drew criticism from overseas for not acting fast enough after being made aware of Fipronil contamination, Belgium's agriculture minister on Wednesday said it was the Dutch who were too slow to respond to inquiries.
The scandal has sparked a blame game between European countries with Belgium being accused of not being fast enough to trigger an EU-wide alert.
A statement from the FSA said: "Investigations into the Fipronil incident in Europe continue". "The opinion from the National Agency for Health Security (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire (Anses)) is that the risk to human health is very low".
According to Itkonen, Belgian authorities informed the Commission of their findings on July 20, while the authorities of Netherlands and Germany informed on July 26 and 31, respectively.
Millions of eggs have been recalled in eight countries across Europe in the past week.
Dutch and Belgian investigators carried out coordinated raids on several premises on Thursday, arresting two people at a Dutch firm believed to be at the centre of the crisis. She did not provide details on which companies or individuals were targeted.
A row has erupted over how long Belgian and Dutch authorities have known about the contamination. However, no cases have been reported of people falling sick.
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