Oman stops is­sue of per­mits for im­port of eggs from Europe

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Our Cor­re­spon­dent Mus­cat

This is af­ter mil­lions of eggs were with­drawn from su­per­mar­kets across Europe fol­low­ing wide­spread con­tam­i­na­tion of ta­ble eggs

Oman has stopped is­su­ing new per­mits for im­port of eggs from Europe till fur­ther no­tice. This, af­ter mil­lions of eggs were with­drawn from su­per­mar­kets across many Euro­pean na­tions fol­low­ing wide­spread con­tam­i­na­tion of ta­ble eggs with traces of fipronil in­sec­ti­cide which can be harm­ful to hu­mans.

Fipronil is com­monly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks but is banned by the Euro­pean Union for use on an­i­mals des­tined for hu­man con­sump­tion, such as chick­ens.

The in­sec­ti­cide got into the food chain in the Nether­lands, which is one of Europe’s big­gest egg pro­duc­ers, but con­tam­i­nated eggs have now been found as far away as Hong Kong.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries (MoAF) stated on Sun­day that it has taken all nec-

es­sary pre­cau­tions to en­sure the safety of im­ported Euro­pean ta­ble eggs and to make sure that they do not con­tain any health

threats. The first among a host of mea­sures is not is­su­ing new per­mits for im­port of ta­ble eggs from Europe un­til all safety clear-

an­ces are re­ceived. Other mea­sures in­clude, in­form­ing all vet­eri­nary spe­cial­ists at bor­der posts to in­crease in­spec­tion and test- ing by tak­ing sam­ples of all ta­ble eggs that have reached the ports of Oman. “In ad­di­tion, send­ing these sam­ples to the spe­cialised labs in or­der to pre­serve them un­til they are cleared for hu­man con­sump­tion.”

All au­thor­i­ties are in­formed to in­spect Omani mar­kets and take ran­dom sam­ples of ta­ble eggs for lab test­ing. The min­istry added that a num­ber of Euro­pean farm pro­duce (eggs) was af­fected by fipronil in­sec­ti­cide used to dis­in­fect chicken farms.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) says fipronil is ‘mod­er­ately toxic’ to peo­ple if it is eaten in large quan­ti­ties, and can have dan­ger­ous ef­fects on the kid­neys, liver and thy­roid glands.

It can also cause ‘ nau­sea, vom­it­ing, ab­dom­i­nal pain, dizzi­ness, and epilep­tic seizures’, says the Dutch food stan­dards agency NVWA, al­though its ef­fects are re­versible.

(AFP)

A warn­ing let­ter in Alk­maar city in the Nether­lands reads, “The Dutch agency for food se­cu­rity (NVWA) has an­nounced that some eggs con­tain too high fipronil con­tent. Keep close con­tact with NVWA and our egg sup­pli­ers and pick up eggs listed by the NVWA list of the shelf.”

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