View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
May 31, 2002

GERMANY: Organic chickens face slaughter after herbicide feed scare

Hundreds of thousands of organic chickens in Germany are to be slaughtered after animal health inspectors found they had been fed meal contaminated with a banned herbicide. The scare is being heralded as the largest ever food scare to hit the organic farming sector. The chickens were fed feed contaminated with a chemical called Nitrofen.

Hundreds of thousands of organic chickens in Germany are to be slaughtered after animal health inspectors found they had been fed meal contaminated with a banned herbicide.

The scare is being heralded as the largest ever food scare to hit the organic farming sector. The chickens were fed feed contaminated with a chemical called Nitrofen.

Nitrofen is banned in the European Union because it is believed to be carcinogenic. The herbicide has been traced back to North German grain distributor GS Agri, which sold 600 tonnes of contaminated wheat to over 100 organic farms around Germany.

Some animals on conventional farms may also have eaten the contaminated feed.

 German Agriculture Minister Renate Künast said it was still not known how the contamination occurred, and Lower Saxony state’s agriculture minister Uwe Bartels said sabotage could not be ruled out.

“There was an effort to hide the contamination,” Kuenast was quoted as telling the Tagesspiegel newspaper in an article released ahead of publication on Friday.

Food retailers including Edeka, Wal-Mart, Real, Extra and Kaufhof have removed organic food from their shelves and authorities have impounded more than a quarter of a million animals, mainly chickens, on the organic farms which received tainted feed. Neighbouring countries have banned imports of German poultry.

Meat and egg samples taken from farms tested positive and some were 18 times over the danger levels, reported Reuters.

Related Companies

Topics in this article:
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every other month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Food