Feed contaminated with dioxin again

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Authorities warn of feed contaminated with dioxins

Dioxin in feed again. Feed oil contaminated with dioxins - a so-called supplementary feed - was supplied from Lower Saxony to feed manufacturers in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Austria. The feed oil contaminated with dioxin was supplied by a fish meal factory in Lower Saxony to seven feed producers in Germany and Austria. The dioxin content of the oil processed into animal feed has exceeded the permissible limit by four times, warned the Ministry of Agriculture of Lower Saxony. However, when the animal feed mixed with the supplementary feed was examined, the dioxin content was well below the critical limit of 1.5 nanograms, the competent authorities said.

Limit value for dioxin pollution four times exceeded Dioxin-contaminated feed had recently triggered one of the largest dioxin scandals in Germany for a long time. At the end of last year, health authorities warned of eggs contaminated with dioxin that had come into action. At that time, the burden was clearly attributed to the use of contaminated feed. And even in the current case, the contamination of the feed oil could have far-reaching consequences, because the permissible limit was exceeded four times. However, only a four percent share of the feed oil was added to the pig feed, which ultimately caused the dioxin load on the feed to be less than 1.5 nanograms, the authorities said. A recall of the compound feed or contaminated pork was therefore probably not necessary. The Ministry of Agriculture prohibited the further supply of the feed oil and a recall of the contaminated batches was initiated. In addition, further analyzes of the feed samples should be carried out in order to definitely rule out a health risk for consumers.

Dioxin as a collective term for dangerous environmental toxins The term dioxin is a collective term for environmental toxins with similar chemical compounds, which mostly arise as by-products in the production of organochlorine chemicals or in combustion reactions (waste incineration). The long-lived organic pollutants are hardly broken down naturally and accumulate in living organisms via the food chain. Today, 75 types of dioxins and 135 furans closely related to dioxins are known, which can lead to serious health problems. An increased exposure to dioxins can lead to disorders of the immune system, the nervous system and the hormonal balance as well as severe skin diseases (chloracne), respiratory diseases, thyroid problems and impairments of the digestive tract. In addition, numerous dioxins are considered carcinogenic. If there is acute dioxin poisoning, there is hardly any possibility of rapid detoxification, since the substances are stored in the tissues of the body and even blood washing can only minimally reduce the dioxin load. Therefore, special care should be taken with potentially dioxin-contaminated foods and the corresponding products should under no circumstances be consumed.

Questionable behavior in the feed industry Critics already pointed out in the context of the dioxin scandal at the end of last year that extremely questionable processes are sometimes used in the production of feed. Insiders claimed that contaminated products are often diluted further until the dioxin load is below the permissible limit. Against this background, the current case of contaminated feed oil appears in a slightly different light. Because here, too, the limit value in the end product could only be met by adding only four percent of the feed oil to the feed. This raises the question of whether the dioxin limit values ​​should not be checked more strictly along the entire production chain in order to exclude the further processing of contaminated products as far as possible. (fp)

Read on:
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Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio.de

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