The contaminated pig feed at the forefront of the dioxin scare of late 2008 had toxin levels so great that scientists struggled to measure them, according to a report by Maeve Sheehan in the Irish newspaper, Independent.
The feed was tested in a British laboratory who warned that the poison levels in a sample of breadcrumbs were “so high as to often be beyond the measurement range of the instruments used”. Three days later the Government announced a total recall of all Irish pork.
The discovery of cancer-causing dioxins detected in Irish pork was catastrophic for the pig sector, temporarily shutting down the industry and leaving the taxpayer with a €200m compensation bill. While confidence in Irish pork has largely been restored, the repercussions are still being felt in the industry.
Pig processors left out of pocket as a result of the recall have received only €45m of the €185m compensation package because of bureaucratic difficulties in getting the unwanted product back to Ireland.