The news comes shortly
after European Commission and DGAL recommendations for importers of Chinese
animal feed and feed additives to strengthen their controls for possible
Three batches arrived in
the port of Le Havre on 4 and 27 June as well as
24 July 2008. Terrena then proceeded to sending
samples to the Laréal laboratory in the Morbihan department in October. Results showed that one
batch had melamine levels of 116 mg/kg, 46 times more than the maximum
permitted limit of 2.5 mg/kg.
As a result of these
laboratory findings, Terrena proceeded to a
recall of the product earlier this month, which had been delivered to its
subsidiary Bio Nutrition Animale based in Mervent (Vendée department).
It is understood that
the 905 tons of organic soya in Mervent were
quarantined. An additional 300 tons of feed made from the soya were sold to
127 poultry farms in the neighbouring areas.
However, the remaining amount that was not fed to the chickens was also
The non-compliant soya
will soon be destroyed. Furthermore, the melamine found in the feed
consumed by the chickens is excreted within 24 hours after digestion and
therefore no traces of the chemical can be found in the meat, said a Terrena spokesperson.
The French Food Safety
Authority (AFSSA) beleives that the human health
risk can be considered as zero, and, as of today,
no retailers have removed poultry products from their shelves originating
from these farms.
According to the Terrena spokesperson, the co-operative is considering
legal action against its Chinese supplier.
Terrena is France’s largest agricultural
co-operative with over 10,000 employees. The co-op posted a 3.3 billion
euro turnover in 2007.