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Eggs scandal continues: Netherlands finds second banned chemical on chicken farms

Staff Writer |
The tainted eggs scandal deepened once again on Thursday as Dutch Health Minister Edith Schippers said traces of a second banned insecticide had been found on Dutch poultry farms, EFEAgro reports.

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In a letter delivered to the Dutch parliament on Thursday, Schippers said authorities were examining five farms – one meat business and four mixed poultry and meat businesses – which had links to ChickenFriend in 2016 and 2017.

ChickenFriend is the pest control company blamed for the presence of toxic insecticide fipronil in eggs and egg products in 18 countries across Europe and beyond.

The chemical is commonly used to kill lice in animals but is banned in the human food chain.

Dutch investigators have now found evidence of the use of amitraz in products confiscated from the five farms, according to Schippers.

Amitraz is a “moderately toxic” substance, the health ministry warned. It can cause damage to the central nervous system and decomposes quickly in the body after ingestion. Amitraz is authorised for use against insects and arachnids in pigs and cattle, but not for poultry.

The minister said the risk to public health posed by this banned insecticide “is not yet clear”. So far, amitraz has not been detected in eggs.

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