Contaminated pork found in Estonia

  • 2008-12-08
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

It is still uncertain how much tainted pork may have already been sold to consumers.

 TALLINN- Sixbatches of pork totaling 120 tons imported to Estonia from Ireland since Sept. 1 may be contaminatedwith a harmful dioxin substance dioxin which may cause cancer.

The Veterinary and FoodBoard will find out by the end of the week how much of the meat is still unusedand how much of the products made from it still have not been sold. Thehandling of the meat and the products made from it will be stopped at once. .

The Irish government saidon Dec. 6 it had ordered a recall of its locally produced pork products due tocontamination with potentially cancer-causing dioxins. It said that laboratorytests of animal feed and pork fat samples confirmed the presence of dioxins,with toxins at 80-200 times the safe limits.

The Irish Association of PorkProcessors said only 10 farms had been using the tainted feed, responsible forless than 10 percent of Irish pork production. They said the recall was a precautionarystep.

Experts speaking to Reuters agreed that the risk was low.

"These compounds takea long time to accumulate in the body, so a relatively short period of exposurewould have little impact on the total body burden," said Professor AlanBoobis, Toxicologist at Imperial College London.

"One would have to beexposed to high levels for a long period of time before there would be a healthrisk,"
Boobis added.


The European Commission has said they will pay more attention to the issue. Experts from the countriesthat may have received shipments of contaminated meat are scheduled to gather onDec. 9 to discuss further action.

The chief of the Irishveterinary authority, Paddy Rogan, said on Dec. 7 that contaminated exports mayhave ended up in as many as 25 countries.