(Source: www.businesstimes.com.sg)

[BRUSSELS] The European Commissioner in charge of food safety has called for a meeting of ministers and national regulatory agencies to discuss a widespread European contamination scare, which has seen shops remove millions of eggs from sale.

Tensions have risen between agricultural ministers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany after traces of the moderately toxic insecticide fipronil were found in batches of eggs, linked by authorities to a Dutch supplier of cleaning products.

While initially the Belgian food safety regulator drew criticism from abroad for not acting fast enough after being made aware of fipronil contamination, Belgium’s agriculture minister on Wednesday said it was the Dutch who were too slow to respond to inquiries.

“Blaming and shaming will bring us nowhere and I want to stop this,” EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told Reuters in a statement.

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Mr Andriukaitis said he hoped to convene a meeting before the end of September of the ministers concerned, along with various national food safety agency representatives. “We need to work together to draw lessons learned and move forward instead of losing energy on finger pointing,” he said.

The German agriculture ministry said Mr Andriukaitis would also meet ministers of the affected countries on the sidelines of an already scheduled agricultural summit in Estonia in early September.

REUTERS

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