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Dutch police make arrests in contaminated eggs case

Updated: 2017-08-11 08:51

Dutch police make arrests in contaminated eggs case

This photo taken on August 10, 2017 in Vimy, northern France, shows the offices of Sovimo, one of five egg production companies, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, which has imported eggs containing fipronil, an insecticide, from neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands. [Photo/VCG]

AMSTERDAM - Dutch police arrested two suspects on Thursday as part of an investigation into the illegal use of a potentially harmful insecticide in the poultry industry, the Dutch prosecution service said.

Millions of chicken eggs have been pulled from European supermarket shelves as a result of the scare over the use of the insecticide fipronil, and hundreds of thousands of hens may be culled in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors said in a statement they had conducted raids at eight locations in the Netherlands and Belgium, confiscating cars and seizing bank accounts and real estate.

The arrested suspects were directors at Dutch company Chickfriend, which is at the centre of the scandal. Officials at the company could not be reached for comment.

Raids were conducted at locations linked to Chickfriend, which allegedly used the pesticide, as well as potential suppliers.

The company directors are suspected of threatening public health and possession of a prohibited pesticide, prosecutors said.

Fipronil is a popular insecticide to treat pets for fleas and ticks but it is forbidden for use in the food chain. The World Health Organization considers fipronil to be moderately toxic and says very large quantities can cause organ damage.

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