Berlin: Supermarket giant Aldi said it was pulling all eggs off shelves and stopping sales nationwide in Germany, following a scandal over eggs contaminated with a toxic insecticide banned from use in the production of food for human consumption.
Aldi, a discount chain, said in a statement that removing the eggs was a “pure precaution” to provide consumers with “clarity and transparency,” although there was no evidence of actual contamination in their produce.
Nearly all of Germany’s 16 states, except for Saarland and Saxony, have been affected by the tainted eggs scandal, which became public last week when eggs from Dutch and Belgian farms were found to contain high levels of the insecticide fipronil.
Fipronil is a common ingredient in veterinary products for getting rid of fleas, lice and ticks in animals. It is banned from use on animals destined for human consumption. It can cause damage to the liver, thyroid glands and kidneys if consumed in large quantities.
Aldi has so far taken the most drastic action. Another supermarket chain, Lidl, said that it would only buy eggs tested for fipronil in the future. Other chains in Germany, such as Rewe and Edeka, said that for now they would wait and watch.
Responding to Aldi’s decision, the German Farmers’ Association said that pulling all eggs from shelves was “an excessive reaction at this point in time.” — dpa