Eggs containing pesticides found in 17 countries

Eggs containing pesticides found in 17 countries

News broke today that 700,000 eggs contaminated with insecticide Fipronil have been distributed in the United Kingdom and some may have already been consumed.

"It is likely that the number of eggs that have come to the United Kingdom is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 we previously believed had been imported", said the Food Standards Agency, a government department.

Foods containing eggs have been recalled by Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons.

Millions of eggs have been destroyed so far due to Fipronil contamination.

"But while the risk to human health has been ruled out, investigations are being actively pursued at poultry farms and manufacturing sites of egg-based products", it added.

They have reportedly pinned the source of the insecticide to a supplier of cleaning products in the Netherlands.

Two persons have been arrested in the Netherlands over the ongoing contaminated eggs scandal, the Dutch public prosecutor stated on Thursday.

Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) poultry committee chairman Nigel Renaghan has reassured consumers that Irish eggs are unaffected and 100pc safe.

Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare have been distributed to Britain, rather than the 21,000 first estimated, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

Some of the products containing the eggs had a short shelf life and will have already been consumed, the FSA said.

The substance can damage people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands if eaten in large quantities.

Millions of eggs have been pulled off the shelves in Belgium and Germany, following news of the scare, and 180 farms have been temporarily closed.

Eggs contaminated with insecticide fipronil have been found across 15 European Union countries as well as Hong Kong and Switzerland, sparking a row over how long Belgian and Dutch authorities have known about the contamination.

But the head of Dutch Food Safety Authority, Rob van Lint, denied his claims.

All of the food businesses concerned have reportedly been contacted and any remaining products have been removed from sale.

Almost 250,000 insecticide-contaminated eggs have been sold in France since April, but the risk for consumers is "very low", French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said Friday.