TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Research has shown that an additive in chicken feed caused excessive levels of dioxin in eggs from one farm in Changhua County last month, the Council of Agriculture (COA) announced Friday.
Eggs from the Hung Chang (鴻彰) farm in the township of Fangyuan showed a dioxin concentration of 5.2 picograms per gram, more than double the legal maximum level of 2.5 pg/g. As a result, thousands of eggs were removed from shelves and all of the farm’s chickens, estimated at more than 42,000, were culled.
A meeting of experts and representatives of various government departments met Friday afternoon and came to the conclusion that the presence of dioxin was the result of animal feed containing tetrafuran, a harmful chemical officially known as 2,3,7,8-TCDF.
The element was likely to have found its way into additives for the animal feed used at the farm in the past, because no obvious links had been found between recent feed and the eggs contaminated with dioxin, experts said.
The COA said all poultry at the farm and all the eggs it produced had been destroyed, so consumers should no longer worry.
Dioxins can damage the immune system, cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems and interfere with hormones in humans, according to the World Health Organization.
The eggs from Hung Chang had been discovered in a batch at a Miaoli County distributor, who held eggs from three different farms in the Changhua region. All three were sealed off, but further tests confirmed that only one was the source of the dioxin-tainted products.