Dioxin in Irish beef

10/12/2008

Cattle in three of 11 Irish beef herds tested have been found to have higher than recommended levels of dioxin but the meat won’t be recalled because the levels don’t constitute a health risk.

Some 34 herds are still being examined and any cattle shown to be above the legal limit will be taken out of the food chain and the EU commission informed, the Irish government said.

The government recalled all Irish pork products Dec. 7 after tests confirmed 10 percent of Ireland’s estimated 1.47 million pigs may have been exposed to feed containing dioxins, associated with cancer. The recall leaves Irish pork producers facing a 100 million-euro ($128.5 million) bill.

Sky News  reports the meat was contanimated after unlicensed oil used in a burner tainted bread crumbs which were sold to farms.

Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), has stood up for farms and pointed the finger at other links in the chain.

“Absolutely no traceability has fallen down at farm level,” Mr Walshe said. “Any problem with traceability has been before with feed going to farm or the process afterwards.

“It’s very disappointing if other procedures weren’t put in place in other parts of the food chain.”

Consumers are becoming more wary over what goes in to their food and while there is absolutely no room for complacency this gives meat and milk from New Zealand’s pasture-grazed stock an advantage over those raised on feed lots.


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