The countries affected include 15 EU countries, Britain, Switzerland and as far as Hong Kong it has been reported. Dozens of farms have been closed and millions of eggs pulled from supermarket shelves.
The epicenter of this crisis includes Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Australia is NOT included in this egg contamination due to more stringent regulations.
CAUSE OF THE CONTAMINATION
The eggs have been contaminated by Fipronil which can harm human health.
Fipronil is a broadspectrum insecticide and is commonly used to control fleas, lice and ticks on animals. The EU has banned Fipronil from the use in the food industry.
In Australia, Fipronil is generally used against termites rather than on poultry. It may also be used to kill ants, cockroaches and beetles.
Fipronil is toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates and bees.
To protect the bees, Fipronil is banned from being used on corn.
HOW DID IT GET INTO THE EGGS?
Fipronil can be absorbed into the skin or taken orally. In the case of these chickens, it would have been adsorbed through the skin into the blood stream. Traces can be found in the eggs.
HOW IS IT DANGEROUS FOR HUMANS?
The World Health Organisation says if these contaminated eggs are eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.
An adult weighing 65kg would need to eat more than seven (7) eggs a day. A child of 35kg could not exceed 1.7 eggs.
WARNING FOR AUSTRALIANS
Can we still be at risk from ingesting Fiprinol in our own home laid eggs?
The answer is YES.
FRONTLINE products have the active ingredient is Fipronil.
Please do not use any Frontline products on egg/meat producers.
All Frontline products work best for other domestic house pets such as dogs and cats.
For use on rabbits and guinea pigs, please consult your Vet for the appropriate active ingredient.
Do not assume one product is safe across all animal and bird species.
To guard against lice, fleas and mites on poultry use:
- Pestene powder
- Ivermectin (veterinary product - topical)
- Malaban Wash or Maldisan (as a last resort, as a bath)
RELATED NEWS STORIES
Contaminated Eggs Scandal Spreads from Britain to Asia - SBS
Toxic egg crisis reaches Hong Kong as 17 nations are affected by the scandal - The Mirror
Fipronil contamination scare: Aldi pulls all eggs from shelves in Germany - DW
Fipronil: What is it - and how did it get into our eggs - DW
Frontline Plus - official Frontline website
Frontline - Fipronil active ingredient - Pet Education