Over 27,000 kg of insecticide-tainted eggs reached Taiwan market

2,303 boxes of contaminated eggs made it to consumer markets in Taipei and New Taipei between Jan. 27 and Feb. 13

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(Photo from Changhua Public Health Bureau)

(Photo from Changhua Public Health Bureau)

TAIPEI (CNA) -- Over 27,000 kilograms of eggs contaminated with the toxic insecticide fipronil reached consumer markets in northern Taiwan from Jan. 27 to Feb. 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday.

The FDA said in statement Friday night that it was notified by the Council of Agriculture (COA) on Feb. 13 that three egg samples collected by the COA from a poultry farm in Changhua County on Jan. 25 had tested positive for fipronil.

A total of 27,636 kg, or 2,303 boxes of eggs from Changhua's Shun Hung (順弘) poultry farm were sold to breakfast shops and other retail outlets in Taipei and New Taipei between the time the samples were collected and the test results were announced, according to the FDA.

The three egg samples were found to be contaminated with the insecticide at concentration levels of 0.03 parts per million (ppm), 0.04 ppm, and 0.06 ppm, respectively, higher than the maximum residue level of 0.01 ppm, the FDA said.

COA deputy chief Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said the laboratory testing of the egg samples was delayed because of the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, and because the eggs were not tested until after the holiday the results only came out a few days ago, according to Apple Daily.

The World Health Organization considers fipronil to be "moderately toxic" to humans. Long-term exposure to Fipronil can cause damage to kidneys, the liver and the thyroid gland.

It can also cause "nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and epileptic seizures."

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified fipronil as a possible human carcinogen based on an increase in thyroid follicular cell tumors in rats.