Dioxin scandal: Aigner bets on early warning system

04-02-2011 | | |

After a dioxin scandal rocked German supermarkets and poultry and pig farms last month, the government announced new rules Wednesday to prevent similar health scares. Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner spoke of an “early warning system.”

The German government unveiled on Wednesday a new set of regulations targeting animal feed production.
The rules are intended to prevent a repeat of a nationwide health scare that saw thousands of poultry farms closed temporarily after the toxic chemical dioxin was discovered in animal feed.
“We want to make the food chain more secure,” said Food and Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner. “Boosting surveillance is a key part of this,” she said.
Required self-reporting
Aigner said the new rules aimed to create an “early warning system” that would require feed production companies to report all test results to officials. Companies previously only had to report results if excessive levels of a toxic chemical were found.
Private laboratories will also have to report suspicious results concerning dangerous substances such as dioxin.
The German cabinet has approved the new regulations and now expects them to be approved by parliament.
The European Commission is expected to propose new measures on agricultural feed in the coming weeks.

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