A scandal involving eggs contaminated with insecticide spread to 15 EU countries, Switzerland and as far away as Hong Kong as the European Commission called for a special meeting on the growing crisis.
Ministers and food safety chiefs from around the European Union are set to meet on September 26 in a bid to get countries to stop “blaming and shaming” each other over the scare involving the chemical fipronil. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe and dozens of poultry farms closed since the discovery of fipronil, which can harm human health, was made public on August 1.
The issue has sparked a row between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, the three countries at the epicentre of the crisis, about how long they knew about the problem.
Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals. The EU insists there is no threat to human health, but WHO says that when eaten in large quantities it can harm people’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.