Contaminated dioxin eggs from Duisburg children's and organic farms
During routine official controls, North Rhine-Westphalian regulators found the toxin dioxin in two egg producers in Duisburg in samples of chicken eggs. According to the authorities, the statutory maximum quantities were exceeded many times over. The consumer protection ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia instructed the city of Duisburg to close the courtyards immediately. A direct marketer is an organic farm (organic farm) with a certificate of around 120 laying hens for organic eggs. The second producer is a conventionally operated farm with a good 150 laying hens, which functions as a children's and learning farm. Both producers market their eggs directly.
Eggs came on the market despite negative test evaluations
As the Ministry said, consumers are warned of eggs with the stamp number 0-DE-0521991. However, the increased measured values were already available in mid-March. This is criticized on the part of consumer advocates, since the egg sale continued before Easter and the egg sale was only stopped two weeks after the test result. Only then were both courtyards closed. As a result, the eggs came onto the market and were probably already eaten.
The second yard is a children's and learning farm. This producer has no stamp number. A mere conclusion can be drawn in retrospect solely from the name of the manufacturer. According to the authorities, this is the AWO Ingenhammshof in Duisburg. The ministry announced the name of the farm to warn consumers.
Dioxin eggs should be discarded
Only a few days before the find in Duisburg, another case with elevated values had become known. The dioxin-like substance PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) was found in eggs at a large company in East Westphalia-Lippe. According to some tests, the concentrations exceeded the legal limit of PCBs up to six times. "A relationship between the three companies has not yet been determined," said a consumer advocate. The authorities are calling for eggs that have already been purchased not to be consumed. The eggs of the large company have the stamp number 0-DE-0521041. "The eggs should be disposed of as quickly as possible," said the ministry.
The North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Environment expressed clear criticism of the behavior of the city administration in Duisburg. “The factories should have been closed on March 20. Instead, however, only further rehearsals were arranged, ”said a spokesman. The city administration employees measured “only values minimally above the limit value” and did not classify them as “worrying”. For this reason, one wanted to wait until the test evaluations of the control samples, said a spokesman for the city of Duisburg. Nevertheless, the search for the causes was started immediately. So far, nothing is known about other backgrounds.
Different measurements of the loads
The exact measurement information is still unknown. The country had determined a value of 10 picograms in its own measurements at the children's farm for workers' welfare. That would correspond to a fourfold border crossing.
The city administration itself only speaks of a double exceedance. Own surveys found 2.5 picograms in the eggs. "These values are too high for an increased background exposure from heavy industry," said a spokesman. Experience shows that feed is the main source of pollution. However, nothing has yet been found in the feed.
The operator AWO was shocked by the results. "We haven't had any problems so far," Osman Apaydin said to press people. The eggs are laid by free-range chickens. The distribution itself is non-commercial. "We don't know how it can be ourselves."
At the Duisburg organic farm, the dioxin values were only slightly above the prescribed limit values. Here, experts suspect that the pollution caused by the industry in the neighborhood, it was said. Evidence of this has not yet been identified.
Farmers' Association criticizes official actions
The German Farmers' Association was annoyed by the actions of the authorities. It could not be that "the public is only informed when the eggs are all eaten," criticized the spokesman for the association, Johannes Funke. Apparently, the so-called ten-point plan for dioxin finds by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture did not work.
About a year ago, more than 1,000 producers had to be closed due to dioxin pollution. Thousands of laying hens had to be killed. At that time, the toxic substance suspected of causing cancer and nervous disorders was found in the feed. According to current knowledge, there is no connection to the events at that time and no context between the three companies. (sb)
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