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The EU must improve information-sharing on food safety risks and sanction fraudulent pesticide producers, Agriculture MEPs said in a debate on Thursday.

In a debate on the contamination of eggs with the insecticide Fipronil, many MEPs criticised national authorities for delays in notifying the EU’s Rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) and called for the information-sharing system to be improved. Some even suggested fines for member states which fail to share crucial food safety information, while others called for truly dissuasive sanctions for fraudulent producers or suppliers of pest-control products.

 

The full debate is available now via VOD.

 

Quick Facts

 

Fipronil, an insecticide used inter alia to kill fleas and mites, is classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as moderately hazardous. Its use in the EU is prohibited for all food-producing animals.

 

The illegal use of Fipronil on poultry farms was first reported to the European Commission through the EU’s Rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF) on 20 July. Most of these farms were located in the Netherlands and Belgium.

 

So far, 22 EU member states have been affected by the scandal. Millions of chicken eggs have already been withdrawn from the EU market and all farms where products containing Fipronil could have been used have been blocked from placing their potentially tainted products on the market.

 

According to the Commission’s data, the usable production of eggs in the EU reached around 7 million tons in 2013. EU citizens consumed in the same year on average 12 kg of eggs.