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FARM NEWS
Hong Kong, Switzerland, 15 EU states hit by egg scandal: EU
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Aug 11, 2017


BASF to restrict use of egg scandal pesticide
Frankfurt Am Main (AFP) Aug 10, 2017 - German chemical giant BASF said Thursday it would not reapply for EU authorisation for some uses of pesticide Fipronil, at the heart of a tainted egg scandal that has set member states at odds.

"For business reasons, BASF has decided not to pursue re-registration for treatment of seeds in Europe," a spokesman told AFP, adding that the authorisation would expire on September 30.

The pesticide was only authorised for a small number of applications in treating seeds, it added, making the "high costs" of the registration process uneconomical.

BASF added that its decision did not affect the chemical's use as a "biocide" against ants, cockroaches and termites, which is allowed in the EU until 2023.

Belgium on Wednesday accused the Netherlands' food safety authority NVWA of failing to inform it that eggs were tainted with Fipronil despite knowing about it since last November.

NVWA denied that it had known definitively about the contamination so soon, but admitted it had received an anonymous tip about the pesticide being used to clean chicken pens in order to combat red lice in that month.

The insecticide scandal only became public on August 1 when authorities in the Netherlands ordered eggs pulled from supermarket shelves and urged shoppers to throw any they had away.

Contaminated eggs have since been discovered in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and France, with several supermarkets pulling millions of eggs off the shelves.

Fipronil is commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks, but is banned by the EU from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens.

In large quantities, the insecticide is considered by the World Health Organisation to be "moderately hazardous" and can have dangerous effects on people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Insecticide-tainted eggs from European poultry farms have now been found in Hong Kong and Switzerland as well as 15 EU countries, the European Commission said Friday.

The European Commission said all had received eggs contaminated with the pesticide fipronil, adding that a meeting of EU ministers to discuss the scandal had been provisionally scheduled for September 26.

"We would like this meeting to happen with some distance to the events and have as many facts established as possible," European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a press conference.

"This is not, let's be clear, a crisis meeting," Andreeva said.

The EU countries affected are Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark, along with non-EU Switzerland, and Hong Kong, commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said.

Farms had been shut down in four countries -- Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and France -- where authorities have confirmed the illegal use of the substance to treat poultry farms, Rosario said.

The other countries -- plus non-EU Switzerland and Hong Kong -- received exports from the four countries.

Millions of eggs and egg-based products have been pulled from European supermarket shelves since the scare went public on August 1 and there are growing questions about who knew what, and when.

Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that when eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

FARM NEWS
A new threat to pollination : the dark side of artificial light
Paris, France (SPX) Aug 09, 2017
A European team, including a researcher from the Centre d'Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation (CNRS/MNHN/UPMC), has shown for the first time the direct and indirect impacts of artificial light on flower pollination. This threat to terrestrial ecosystems comes on top of other threats such as habitat loss, pesticide use, the spread of pathogens, and climate change. Their findings are publi ... read more

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