Two Dutch Men Appear in Court Over EU Egg Tainting Scandal

EU - Two Dutch men arrested in connection with the ongoing egg scandal in Europe have appeared in court on Tuesday this week, reports Chris McCullough for ThePoultrySite.
calendar icon 17 August 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

The men have been identified by Dutch media as 31-year-old Martin van de B. and 24-year-old Mathijs I.J. They appeared at a closed hearing at the Overijssel District Court in the central Dutch city of Zwolle.

A statement from the court read: "The public prosecution service suspects the two managers of a disinfection company of using Fipronil at poultry farms in the Netherlands.

"Thereby they endangered public health, and there are suspicions they knew that the biocide was banned."

Police arrested the two men on Thursday last week following raids on eight premises in The Netherlands and in Belgium, which included a raid on their company Chickfriend.

So far the scandal has cost poultry farmers €150 million, a spokesman for the ZLTO federation of southern Dutch farmers and gardeners said on Monday (14 August).

Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide commonly used to rid livestock of fleas, lice and ticks. It is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry as it can damage the human kidney, liver and thyroid gland.

The two men reportedly had told farmers that their secret recipe could get rid of poultry mites in hens for eight months.

But what they failed to disclose was that this recipe contained the herbal compound Dega 16 mixed with large amounts of the banned Fipronil.

The Fipronil used by the men was apparently sourced at Poultry Vision, a Belgian business that had in turn sourced it from a chemical manufacturer in Romania.

Once the scandal was brought to light a blame game ensued with Belgium claiming Dutch authorities knew about the substance being used back in November 2016 but failed to alert the European authorities.

Belgian authorities knew about the scandal in June but also did not say anything until late July.

The official announcement that the banned substance had been detected in eggs was only made on 1 August by authorities which led to millions of eggs being destroyed.

The two men remain in custody while further investigations take place.

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