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Has Your Food Fallen Prey to Dioxin Contamination?

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 02:27 PM

Dioxins are toxic pollutants that have carcinogenic as well as persistent properties and give cause for concern all across the globe. The health scare in January in Germany has once again focused international attention on the necessary measures required to avoid the contamination of the food chain by dioxins.

Dioxin contamination has occurred most recently in Germany (http://europa.eu/rap...rence=MEMO/11/8), where fatty acids intended for technical use were contaminated with dioxins and ended up contaminating the food chain. Dioxins were thus detected in animal feed production lots, causing much consternation amongst the government and farming community.

In Ireland in 2008, dioxins were discovered in pork; again, animal feed derived from bakery waste had been contaminated by direct contact with combustion gases originating from non-food grade oil. In 2007, in Switzerland, guar gum from India was found to be contaminated with dioxins and pentachlorophenol and back in 1999, Belgium underwent its own dioxin crisis when polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) oil was mixed with frying oil for final use in animal feed.

Determining the presence of dioxins is difficult as the matrices used are complex and because the levels of regulatory interest have hitherto been low. Third-party independent testing companies, such as SGS, can test for not only dioxins but other dioxin-like components such as PCBs, Polybrominated Flame Retardants, Polychloronaphtalenes, Polychlorinated diphenylethers, Brominated dioxins and furans. (Source: http://www.foodsafet...ontaminants.htm)

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