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South Korea finds some egg products contaminated with pesticide

Staff Writer |
Some egg products in South Korea have been contaminated with a potentially harmful pesticide, the government said Tuesday, amid a growing health scare in Europe over tainted egg products.

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Some eggs at a farm with 80,000 hens in Namyangju, east of Seoul, were found to contain the pesticide fipronil on Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

The ministry temporarily banned farms with more than 3,000 hens from producing eggs from Tuesday so it can carry out an inspection.

It was not known how many samples tested positive for the pesticide, but the Namyangju farm had produced 25,000 eggs per day.

The same pesticide has been found in eggs in 17 European countries since the health scandal broke out early this month.

With the government beginning to check egg farms, the nation's top three discount store chains said they have stopped selling eggs starting Tuesday.

Homeplus, Lotte Mart and E-Mart said they decided to pull eggs off the shelf until results of the government's inspection into egg farms are released.

Homeplus described its decision to stop selling eggs as a "precautionary measure," saying it didn't purchase eggs from the Namyangju farm.

Convenience stores also took eggs off the shelf to allay consumer concerns.

CU, the nation's largest convenience store chain with some 10,000 outlets, said it has withdrawn eggs and egg food products.

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