Denmark’s Minister of Agriculture is under heavy political pressure to introduce sharp country of origin labelling laws in reaction to the widespread import of potentially tainted Thai chicken.

Routine tests have confirmed the presence of traces of the carcinogen nitrofuran in Thai chicken imported as recently as February.

Denmark’s Tulip Food Company, one of Europe’s largest meat processing
companies, is a major importer of Thai chicken and parliamentary protestors claim their products are misleadingly – though legally – labelled, newspaper Berlingske Tidende reports.

Agriculture Minister Mariann Fischer Boel insists that EU regulations do not allow mandatory country of origin labelling.

Tulip insists that all of their products are safe, with quality controls on top of those carried out by Thai and Danish authorities.

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Tulip was formed through the 2002 merger of Tulip International, Danish Prime and Steff-Houlberg.

Projected turnover for the company’s first full accounting year is about DKK 5.2bn (US$747.9m). About two thirds of total turnover comes from exports, with Germany, the UK and the USA the largest markets.