Dioxin residues found in Swiss meat
Swiss meat is affected by residues of poisonous
substances, according to a report by the Swiss Farmers Association. The levels
of such substances were revealed to be above the maximum permitted in the
EU in a random sample taken.
The substances in question are residues of Dioxin and Polychloride Biphenyl
(PCB) which can enter the food chain via contamination of feed and accumulate in
the fat of animal food products. They can be found in pork, beef, veal and
A bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland was signed involving the
enforcement of the EU maximum of such residues in Swiss meat. Switzerland is
required to reduce the current levels of these substances even though the
amounts have lowered in the last few years.
For this reason, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) has
announced that it is carrying out research into the levels of dioxin and PCB in
meat. Together with Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station (ALP) and a
number of Federal Research offices, an programme has been drawn-up to
investigate why levels of these substances are higher than in neighbouring EU
countries. The focus is on PCB.
In the first phase, the following questions will be addressed:
- Which factors influence PCB in meat? (seasonal
fluctuations, geographical situation, age of animals and weather conditions)
- What are the links between PCB in meat and in feed?
The BAG has stated that there is no evidence of a "higher risk" through
consumption of Swiss meat. On the other hand, it does acknowledge that part of
the population of Europe is consuming more than the WHO-recommended amounts of
â€¢ Schweizer Landwirtschaft
â€¢ Bundesamt fÃ¼r
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