Dioxin residues found in Swiss meat
Swiss meat, including poultry, is affected by residues
of poisonous substances, according to a report by the Swiss Farmers Association.
The levels of such substances were revealed to be above the maximum
permitted in the EU in a random sample taken.
The substances in question are residues of Dioxin and Polychloride Biphenyl
(PCB) which can enter the food chain via contamination of feed and accumulate in
the fat of animal food products. They can be found in poultry, pork, beef and
A bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland was signed involving
the enforcement of the EU maximum of such residues in Swiss meat. Switzerland is
required to reduce the current levels of these substances even though the
amounts have lowered in the last few years.
For this reason, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) has
announced that it is carrying out research into the levels of dioxin and PCB in
meat. Together with Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station (ALP) and a
number of Federal Research offices, a programme has been drawn-up to investigate
why levels of these substances are higher than in neighbouring EU countries. The
focus is on PCB.
In the first phase will address what factors influence PCB in meat, as well
as what the links are between PCB in meat and in feed.
The BAG has stated that there is no evidence of a "higher risk" through
consumption of Swiss meat. On the other hand, it does acknowledge that part of
the population of Europe is consuming more than the WHO-recommended amounts of
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