Dioxin Scare in Germany - once again

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Sun 15th Jul, 2012

Lower Saxony - Over 250,000 eggs were recalled (268,000 to be precise) after in-house testing discovered 'excessive levels' of dioxin in eggs found in the Emsland area of Lower Saxony. The farm has been closed and its 12,000 chickens have been quarantined according to reliable sources.

In January 2011, people living in Germany were asked to avoid eggs after highly toxic dioxin was found in the feed of poultry and pigs. Animal feed tainted with highly-poisonous dioxin had been fed to hens and pigs, contaminating eggs, poultry meat and pork at the affected farms. Dioxin is a general term given to a large group of very toxic chemicals, that get created as a by-product during the manufacturing or burning of organic chemicals and plastics that contain chlorine. Dioxins are found just about everywhere - in the atmosphere, soil, rivers and the food chain. They occur naturally as a result of incomplete burning of organic materials during natural events such as volcanoes and forest fires, and are also found in low levels of cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust fumes.

Dioxins are listed as some of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Exposure to dioxins at high levels has been linked to an increase in cancer. It can also cause severe reproductive and developmental problems including birth defects, inability to maintain pregnancy, decreased fertility, reduced sperm counts, endometriosis, diabetes, learning disabilities, immune system suppression, lung problems, skin disorders and lowered testosterone levels. Dioxin is well-known for its ability to damage the immune system and interfere with hormonal systems.

Because they are resistant to being broken down and can be stored in fat cells, they become concentrated in the food chain once they are released into the environment. At the top of the food chain are humans, and humans consume dioxins primarily from the ingestion of animal fats - in fish, milk and beef. Dioxin levels tend to be highest in eggs because of the high fat content in eggs. However, Dioxin only presents a health danger when consumed over long periods rather than in a single meal or in a week.

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