samples were last week found to be positive for marker polychlorinated
biphenyls, or PCBs, and further tests found that the dioxin levels were
higher than the results from the recent controversial pork samples.
while the cattle implicated will have to be slaughtered and the dioxin
levels exceeded the legal limit, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland
(FSAI) said the risk to public health was extremely low.
risk assessment carried out by the FSAI indicates that, based on food
consumption data, the exposure from beef is 300 times lower than that posed
by the pork contamination," a FSAI spokesman said.
consumers should have no concerns in relation to health risks and retailers
are not required to take any action."
that could have potentially used contaminated feed have been restricted
since December 5, and yesterday the Department of Agriculture confirmed 21
out of 120,000 cattle farms here had received the implicated animal feed.
actual number of cattle farms is extremely low, representing 0.02% of the
total national number of cattle farms," said the authority spokesman.
Reilly, deputy chief executive of the authority said that while samples
were higher than in the pork products, the level of concern was lower owing
to the lower likely exposure and superior traceability systems that apply
to beef allowing implicated product to be identified, isolated and
withdrawn from the market.
EU member states yesterday backed a disposal scheme for animals locked down
on farms that have used contaminated feed, as well as for certain pig meat
stocks held in, or still owned by, slaughterhouses.
EU will co-finance the purchases at an average rate of 50%.
for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann
Fischer Boel said: "We hope that co-funding
the destruction of affected meat will help bring this problem to a rapid
conclusion and assist farmers who face financial difficulties."