BERLIN — Germany's agriculture minister vowed tough legal action against those responsible for contaminating livestock feed with dioxin-laced fat.
Ilse Aigner told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag the case needs to be thoroughly investigated, adding what appears to be "criminal energy coupled with alarming unscrupulousness" needs a severe response. She was quoted as saying "the judiciary has to clamp down hard here."
German investigators have found excessive levels of cancer-causing dioxin in eggs and some chicken meat. Authorities have frozen sales of poultry, pork and eggs from more than 4,000 farms and several countries have banned imports of German farm products.
Dioxins are contaminants that often result from industrial combustion, and exposure to them at high levels is linked to an increased incidence of cancer.