Turkish eggs ‘clear of pesticide’ at center of scare


No trace of a potentially harmful pesticide has been found in Turkish domestic eggs, according to an official at the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

Following a series of tests, no egg samples were found to contain fipronil, a pesticide commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media.

The tests were carried out after a food scare in several European countries, where traces of fipronil were found in eggs.

Fipronil is "moderately toxic" to people if eaten in large quantities and may have dangerous effects on the kidneys, according to the World Health Organization.

In accordance with a 2005 EU directive, Turkey banned the use of the chemical on animals destined for human consumption.

The origin of the contamination was detected in poultry in the Netherlands and has led to the closure of 200 farms in the country.

Since July 20, millions of eggs have been destroyed or taken off supermarket shelves across Europe.

"Turkish eggs are traceable"

The egg production in Turkey is compliant with the European legislation, Huseyin Sungur, secretary-general of Turkish Egg Producers Association (YUMBIR) told Anadolu Agency.

"Each egg has a special code, which provides traceability, Sungur said, adding that the code denotes the producer and the city it comes from.

"Our country is one of the top ten egg producers in the world. Last year, around 19 billion eggs were produced in Turkey," he added.

Sungur also noted that in every two or three weeks, egg samples are taken from the producers to be analyzed. So far, no contamination in the eggs was found in the country, he added.

According to the International Trade Center, Turkey is the third largest egg exporter in the world with nearly $290 million export value and 8.6 percent global share.

The Netherlands -- the world's number one egg exporter with $545 million export value -- has a 16.2 percent export share in the world, followed by the U.S. with $440 million export value and 13.1 percent global share.

Source: Anadolu Agency