Egg Farmers Seek Compensation in Dioxin Case; Blame Steel Industry

eggs
Photo by cogdogblog via Wikimedia Commons

Taiwan’s egg farmers are seeking compensation from the government to recoup losses caused by the destruction of more than 6 tons of eggs after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found high dioxin levels in eggs at Changhua County farms last week, Apple Daily reported.

Following the news of the egg scandal, prices around Taiwan fell. The farmers blame environmental pollution for the excessive dioxin levels found in the eggs, which reached as high as 5.2 picograms (pg)/g. The WHO recommends dioxin consumption levels should not exceed 1 pg/kg to 4pg/kg per day.

The Council of Agriculture (COA) official Lee Chun-chin (李春進) said that the source of the pollution is still being investigated. He added that the possibility that the steel industry is cause of the pollution is low.

A Legislative Yuan official said that only about 5% of zinc oxide from steel waste recycling processes has been traced to the animal feed industry in recent years, with the rest for industrial use. Therefore, it is unlikely that the local steel industry would be responsible for the pollution that caused the high dioxin levels. However, the Chiayi County government is investigating other related sources of possible pollution. Results of site samples will be released next week to confirm the findings.

COA officials also noted that the industry has passed ISO certification and should be safe.

The council instructed county governments of Changhua and Yunlin on April 22 to collect samples of animal feed for further testing in the case.

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