France pulls Belgian-made brownies off the shelves over eggs scandal

Published 25.08.2017 13:33
emReuters Photo/em
Reuters Photo

The French Agriculture Ministry has announced Friday that a number of packaged products, including brownies and muffins produced in Belgium have been pulled off the shelves after finding out that they contained pesticide-contaminated eggs that have led to an EU-wide scandal in recent months.

Muffins and brownies from five different brands were contaminated with fipronil, classed by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization as a hazardous pesticide that has been banned for use on farm animals, has been confirmed in food products across 17 European countries, the U.K. and as far away as Hong Kong.

Last week, the ministry removed 17 different types of waffles made in the Netherlands for the same reason.

Consumer rights group Foodwatch criticized the government, saying that it should have publicized the list earlier and should recall the products, which consumers may unknowingly have at home.

The Agriculture Ministry said a recall isn't necessary because the level of pesticide in the eggs doesn't present a public health risk.
Over 250,000 contaminated eggs had come into France from Belgium and the Netherlands, where Dutch police have arrested at least two company directors suspected of playing a significant role in a global scandal involving the contamination.

The ministry's initial list contained products from the Netherlands and sold in French supermarkets including Franprix, Leader Price, Monoprix and Casino whose Fipronil levels exceeded the maximum residue limit.

The ministry said investigations at farms continue to ensure the absence of Fipronil use in France and the interim results will be available at the end of the week.

Since July 20, millions of eggs have been destroyed or removed from supermarket shelves across Europe. Investigations have been launched in the effected countries.

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