Sun, Feb 26, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Health department lifts ban on Dutch pork ribs


The Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday that a ban on the sale of three batches of pork ribs imported earlier this year from the Netherlands had been lifted after tests showed that the meat did not contain excess amounts of dioxin as had been suspected.

The DOH posted a notice about the lifting of the ban on its official Web site late on Friday.

Nevertheless, the DOH said a ban on imports of Dutch pork and pig viscera imposed on Feb. 3 remains valid pending further evaluation reports from Dutch authorities about risks of dioxin contamination.

Tests on samples from the three batches of Dutch pork banned by Miaoli and Taichung health authorities early this month showed that the concentration of dioxins were 0.041 pg TEQ/1g fat, 0.072 pg TEQ/1g fat and 0.07pg TEQ/1g fat, well below the permitted maximum levels set in the EU dioxin control regulations.

As a result, the DOH said, the three batches of pork ribs can be sold, effective immediately.

The ban came after suspected cases of pig and chicken dioxin poisoning were reported in the Netherlands, Germany and Bel-gium late last month. Taiwan did not import chicken from the three countries and only imported pork from the Netherlands.

The three countries had isolated over 650 farms suspected of using dioxin-contaminated feed made in Belgium, and the Netherlands shut down some 260 farms for inspection and quarantine.

Dioxins can cause a range of illnesses in humans, including cancer, metabolic malfunction and miscarriage.

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