TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Egg products from three farms in central Taiwan’s Changhua County were tested as containing excessive insecticide fipronil and ordered to be taken off shelf by Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).
In a press conference on Tuesday to announce the results of a recent egg inspection, Huang Te-chung (黃㯖昌), director of Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), said that out of the 45 inspected egg units, three were tested to have contained over 5ppb of fipronil, a level recommended by the Ministry of Health and Welfare as the maximum allowable level.
The BAPHIQ announced that eggs produced by the three egg farms, all located in Changhua County, were found to have contained 5ppb, 22ppb and 153ppb of fipronil, respectively.
COA Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said that on the night of August 20 when the results came out, Changhua County Government assigned staffers to the three farms to enforce mobile source control, conduct investigation and monitor callback.
Chen said that after the latest finding the central government launched a separate nationwide inspection on 2,000 egg farms across the country on Monday, and the test is expected to be completed by Wednesday noon to ensure the safety of eggs on the market.
Department of Animal Industry Deputy Director Wang Chung-shu (王忠恕) said a total of 90,000 egg type chicken will be culled as a result of the inspection, but before that could happen, tens of thousands of eggs produced by the three farms have to be taken off shelves first. He said the three farms combined produce about a total of 50,000 eggs a day.
Hsieh Yen-ju (謝燕儒), director of the Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau, said that businesses that use fipronil to eliminate mosquitoes and pests must have a permit to operate, adding that violators are punishable by a fine of between NT$30,000 (about US$1,000) and NT$150,000 under the Environmental Agents Control Act.