In Germany a food scandal with dioxin contaminated products (up to now eggs and pig meat) had been uncovered End of 2010 and the public had been informed beginning 2011.
“According to the European Union, the incident began when fatty acids meant to be used for industrial processes – from a biodiesel company – were mixed with vegetable feed fat, used to make food for animals.
The contaminated feed was distributed to several farms in Germany, and consumed by pigs and hens whose meat and eggs now have levels of dioxins higher that those allowed under EU law. Most of the affected farms are pig farms in Germany’s Lower Saxony region.
Some of the eggs were sent to a processing plant in the Netherlands, and a 14-tonne consignment of pasteurised egg has been sent on to the UK, where it may have entered the food chain.
EU authorities say they were first informed about the incident by Germany on 27 December 2010. But the first message only referred to one consignment – 26 tonnes – of contaminated feed. By 3 January 2011, German officials realised that the contamination was much bigger – a total of nine consignments – delivered to 25 feed manufacturers.
However, the state agriculture ministry in Schleswig-Holstein says the dioxin alert began even […] in March 2010 […]. The responsible company is alleged not to have informed the authorities of this. […][Test] results released later by the ministry showed the fat of the feed contained 77 times the approved amount of dioxin.“
It is too easy to blame the industry alone – consumers partly responsible as well
“Environmentalists blame industrialized food production for dioxin scandal”. Partly to blame is surely the industry and especially the companies that violated the law and thus must be prosecuted.
But partly responsible are also the very price sensitive food shopper. These consumers who want to save money on food also put pressure on the industry to lower production costs. One result is that despite the amount of food sold remained stable in 2009, the food revenues dropped 4%.
Support local producers instead of only big supermarket chains
Nothing is for free, that’s what the consumer should keep in mind when shopping. Of course it is not possible for some people to buy biologically produced products all the time and some may argue that biological is not always better. But one thing is sure, buying from time to time from local small producers that control their supply chain (produce for example the corn that is fed to their chicken) will help maintaining or even increasing the diversity of products. When the next big food scandal comes you have at least the local producer to buy from…
foodieSquare supports food diversity and culture
By enabling small traditional food producers to sell through our market place, we pursue the same goal as the Slow Food movement, namely “save the countless traditional grains, vegetables, fruits, animal breeds and food products that are disappearing due to the prevalence of convenience food and industrial agribusiness.”
- Dioxin contamination: Germany closes nearly 1,000 farms (dailymail.co.uk)
- Dioxin : It’s Whats For Breakfast (and Dinner and Lunch and Snack and Supper) (ppjg.wordpress.com)