New Fipronil residue tolerance in eggs to take effect
Taipei, June 27 (CNA) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a press statement Wednesday saying that it has set the maximum tolerance level for the insecticide fipronil in eggs at 0.01 parts per million (ppm), to take effect Friday.
Last year, incidences of fipronil-tainted eggs were reported around the world, including Taiwan. Local authorities seized and incinerated more than 500,000 eggs after a country-wide investigation found 45 farms to be supplying eggs with excessive levels of the insecticide.
At the time when the fipronil scare occurred, Taiwan had no rules regulating the pesticide's residue in eggs. To reassure the public, the authorities decided to adopt 0.005 ppm -- the instrument detection limit -- as a provisional standard for fipronil inspection.
However, the Council of Agriculture (COA) decided that the standard was too strict and proposed to the FDA that it should be relaxed.
After a meeting convened in November by the FDA and the COA to discuss the issue, it was decided to set the maximum tolerance level at 0.01 ppm.
FDA Food Safety Division head Pan Chih-kuan (潘志寬) said that because a large amount of chicken feed is imported from abroad, some of it may contain fipronil residue.
Eggs laid by chickens who eat the feed will then show traces of fipronil, Pan said.
According to previous investigations, the largest amount of fipronil residue found was 0.1 ppm, Pan noted.
After the regulations take effect, suppliers of eggs exceeding the fipronil residue limit will face fines of between NT$60,000 (US$1,967) and NT$200 million, Pan added.
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