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German firm BASF to partially stop selling Fipronil after egg scandal
Last Updated: 2017-08-11 07:30 | Xinhua
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BASF, the world's largest chemical producer with headquartered in Germany, announced on Thursday that it would partially stop selling the insecticide Fiproni after the Europe-wide scandal of egg contamination.

Fipronil has achieved international notoriety after traces were discovered in Dutch eggs intended for human consumption. The insecticide is considered slightly poisonous by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is hence forbidden for use on animals destined for the food chain to prevent damage to the liver, thyroid and kidney.

Christian Schmidt, German Minister for Agriculture, suggested recently that criminal organizations may be to blame for contamination of eggs.

Authorities currently have leads to Belgium and the Netherlands, although it remains unclear where the illegal insecticide was added to otherwise permissible livestock care products.

German supermarkets stopped selling eggs as a precaution while 138 Dutch poultry farms were shut down.

In total, 180 farms in the Netherlands are confirmed to have used an anti-lice poison which contained Fipronil. In one case the concentration was so high that Dutch authorities warned against "acute danger" to consumers of the affected eggs.

German officials have criticized that they were initially kept in the dark about the practice by their colleagues in Belgium and the Netherlands.

BASF now said on Thursday that it would not apply for an extension of the European Union's regulatory approval for the substance when it expires in September. The firm cited economic reasons as having led to the decision.

Fipronil is only available for limited agricultural use in the European Union as a consequence of the risks it poses to bees.

BASF wants to stop selling the product for crop and livestock protection purposes but intends to keep it on the market for non-agricultural pest control. Enditem

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