Based on an interview with Attila Nagy, the deputy-manager of the National Food Chain Safety Office’s Food and Forage Safety Directorate, index.hu writes that a number of poisoned eggs on the European market doesn’t reach the level, where it would result in a price growth. However, the phenomenon could influence market processes.
It was reported last week that eggs contaminated with Fipronil pesticide were found in fifteen European countries, among others, in Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania. All of these eggs came from Dutch plantations.
The Fipronil pesticide is used in veterinary medicine to eradicate parasites, lice, fleas, and ticks. However, it is not used on animals intended for human consumption, because if it gets into the body in a big amount it can cause liver, thyroid and kidney damage.
The National Food Chain Safety Office added that the dangerousness of the contaminated egg also depends on the age and health condition of the consumer, and the amount of pesticide in the product. Essentially, only the consumption of an extreme amount of poisoned eggs could cause acute poisoning.
It turned out from laboratory tests that the eggs were contaminated with very little pesticide, the seventh-tenth of the allowed amount. At the same time, a Belgian test showed a bigger amount. The office believes that the long-term risk is what’s important in this case. Since Fipronil is a liposoluble agent, it can accumulate in the body, this is why preventive measures serve the purpose of protection from liver damage.
According to Attila Nagy, even though the contamination affects a lot of eggs, the rate is still small compared to the European production. The Hungarian egg sector could even profit from the scandal as Hungarian eggs are safe based on the examinations of the National Food Chain Safety Office.
Hungarian authorities continuously check the egg supply entering the country and eliminate suspicious eggs.