Germany detects illegal dioxin level in poultry

January 8, 2011 15:36

BERLIN — A spokesman for Germany's Agriculture Ministry said an overly high concentration of cancer-causing dioxin has for the first time been detected in samples of meat following the discovery that farm animals were fed contaminated feed.

He said Saturday three chickens — out of 15 samples of chicken, turkey and pork meat that have been sent to the EU Commission — showed a dioxin concentration twice as high as legally allowed. Excessive dioxin levels were previously discovered in eggs.

He said the meat of the contaminated chickens was not sold and consumption at such a low contamination level would not be harmful in the short term.

Germany has frozen sales of poultry, pork and eggs from more than 4,700 farms.

The spokesman declined to be named in line with government policy.

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