Fears of Beef Inclusion in Ireland's Dioxin Disaster

IRELAND - A dioxin feed contamination that has led to a cull of 100,000 Irish pigs is now believed to have contaminated Irish beef cattle also.
calendar icon 9 December 2008
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The results of tests on beef from 38 cattle farms where contaminated feed was used may also be available today, according to Irish media reports.

President of the IFA, Padraig Walshe, told RTE radio that it was a "major worry that the feed could have also have been used for beef cattle."

"Cannot rule out that beef from those herds has gone into the food chain"
Maria Jennings, Food Standards Agency

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently advising consumers not to eat pork, or products where pork is the main ingredient, that are labelled as being from the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland. This includes food such as sausages, bacon, salami and ham.

It has now been revealed that the contaminated pig feed has been fed to herds of cattle on eight farms in Northern Ireland.

According to the BBC news, Maria Jennings from the Food Standards Agency said all the farms concerned had been put under restriction, so no animals from them will go to slaughter.

However, she told the BBC that she "cannot rule out that beef from those herds has gone into the food chain".

A press release from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food reveled that almost 2,000 employees at pig processing plants have been laid off as a result of the recall of Irish pork at the weekend.

It says that plant owners are refusing to open the factories until Dublin gives them a multimillion-euros-compensation package for any losses incurred.

Pork products tainted with dioxins were exported to 21 different countries from Ireland, the Food and Safety Agency of Ireland said.

Food valued at around 125 million euros (159 million dollars) is being destroyed in Ireland and abroad with an estimated 100,000 pigs being culled.

Britain, the recipient of 40 per cent of Irish pork exports, has recalled all Irish pork products from supermarket shelves as has Northern Ireland, while Japan, Singapore and South Korea have suspended the import and sale of all Irish pork.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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