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Bulgaria bans Belgian, French, Dutch meat, dairy

Reuters Story - June 07, 1999 07:13

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SOFIA, June 7 (Reuters) - Bulgaria has banned imports of fodder, meat and dairy and poultry products from Belgium, France and the Netherlands fearing the goods could be contaminated with toxic chemical dioxin, the National Veterinary Service said.

"The ban is imposed and it includes imports of all products of animal origin and feed from Belgium, France and Holland and German chickens and eggs," NVS deputy executive director Yanko Ivanov told Reuters on Monday.

The ban expands a NVS' last week's decision to suspend domestic sales and imports of Belgian chicken- and egg-based products after the European Union warned of high levels of cancer-causing dioxin in Belgian chicken and eggs.

"At this stage we are checking the origin and production dates of all imported meat after our EU counterparts informed us which producers were affected," Ivanov said.

Potentially contaminated food and animal feed ingredients are thought to have been exported to France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Countries inside and outside the EU have closed their borders to Belgian meat and dairy products. Some, including the United States, have widened temporary bans to all EU countries. "The ban is temporary but it will remain effective until the EU resolves the issue," said Ivanov.

It is Europe's worst food safety scare since the mad caw disesase outbreak in Britain

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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