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No fipronil found on chicken farms in France: Minister

Eggs contaminated with illegal insecticide in France 'all came from Belgium and the Netherlands' 

No traces of the insecticide fipronil, which prompted a Europe-wide scare over contaminated eggs, have been found on farms in France, Agriculture Minister Stéphane Travert has said.

A total 3,000 chicken farms have been inspected in the wake of the scandal, Mr Travert told Europe 1 on Monday. "All cases of contamination in France were from imported products that came from Belgium and the Netherlands," he said.

Across Europe, millions of eggs were removed from supermarket shelves and destroyed in the days after the scandal broke on July 20.

More than 250,000 contaminated eggs had come into France from Belgium and the Netherlands, where police have reportedly arrested several company directors after the pesticide was found to have been illegally mixed in an insect spray for chickens.

The contamination is alleged to have come from a product intended to eradicate red lice in breeding farms, which was apparently used despite EU regulations banning such products in animals destined for the human food chain.

Authorities have said that the risk of human health problems from the eggs is very low. Mr Travert previously described the situation as “not a public health scandal”, but as “a fraud [concerning] the use of a product that is already banned in France”.

One French chicken farm contacted authorities after using the brand of spray caught up in the investigation.

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