Tests from a German animal feed plant found excessive levels of the poisonous chemical dioxin last March. A private laboratory's sample test from the plant on 19 March 2010 found more than double the acceptable level of dioxin in fatty acids used in animal feed. The findings from supplier Harles und Jentzsch should have been publicized earlier, the state of Schleswig Holstein's agriculture ministry said. Some 4,700 German farms have been closed after large amounts of feed were found to contain dioxin.
Initially, the scare was confined to Germany but then it emerged that a batch of eggs had been exported to Holland and from there to Britain. The eggs had been sent to the Netherlands for processing and then on to the UK where they were likely to be destined for use in the production of a variety of food stuffs including mayonnaise and pastries. Tesco Ireland has withdrawn a number of products from supermarket shelves following a contamination scare.
The origin of the contamination has been traced to the distributor Harles und Jentzsch (producer and trader of animal- and vegetable-feedfats and all kind of fatty acid's for the chemical industry) in the northern state of Schleswig Holstein, where oils intended for use in bio-fuels were accidentally distributed for animal feed.
Compensation: farmers are now demanding an estimated €40 million ($52 million) to €60 million ($78.1 million) in compensation for each week they are affected by the contamination.
As of January 6, 2011 the GMP+ certificate of the business Harles und Jentzsch GmbH in Uetersen in Germany has been suspended.
On January 5, 2011 an audit was done at the business by GMP+ International and the involved certification organization in connection with the current dioxin problems in Germany. This has shown that Harles und Jentzsch GmbH does not meet the GMP+ requirements. For that reason, the certificate of Harles und Jentzsch GmbH has been suspended.
This means that as of this moment GMP+ certified businesses no longer may purchase animal feed from Harles und Jentzsch GmbH. In addition, the firm Harles und Jentzsch GmbH will be excluded from GMP+ certification for at least three months.