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Sunday, June 13, 1999


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Thailand bans French, Dutch foods in dioxin scare
12:23 a.m. Jun 12, 1999 Eastern

BANGKOK, June 12 (Reuters) - Thailand has banned a variety of foods from France and the Netherlands amid worries they may be contaminated with the toxic chemical dioxin, public health officials said on Saturday.

The ban, imposed on Friday, affects French beef, chicken, eggs, milk and dairy products and Dutch pork, chicken and eggs, an official of Thailand's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

The move follows a similar ban imposed on Tuesday on imports of meat, poultry and dairy products from Belgium after news that chickens on hundreds of Belgian farms had been given feed contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical.

The scare has ballooned into Europe's worst food scandal since the mad cow crisis after it emerged that contaminated feed may also have been sent to thousands of other European farms, including pork and cattle holdings.

FDA spokesman Siriwat Tiptaradol said the Thai ban would last until the government could be sure that all food imports from the three countries were safe.

``As soon as we have got information that is reliable that the products are safe, we are ready to finish it. We are following it day by day,'' he told Reuters.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication and 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.Reuters News Service
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