The approval of measures to boost dioxin monitoring by Germany last week has so far failed to stem the unease sparked by the situation as thousand protested in Berlin over the weekend and Russia announced a ban on German pork imports.
Last week the German Government gave the go-ahead to proposals from the Federal Agriculture and Food Ministry to introduce higher standards in the animal feed production following the discovery of dioxin in materials in December that led to the contamination of pork and eggs.
The plan, presented by German Farm Minister Ilse Aigner, will see a new licensing system for producers of oils and fats for animal feed use, plus a compulsory separation of oils and fats output for use in industrial and feed production.
An early warning system will also be created for dioxin testing by pooling test results in a data bank. Inspections of animal feed makers by regional state authorities will be intensified and private testing laboratories that uncover suspect components in animal feed or food will have a duty to report the findings.
Protests and ban
While these moves may bring long-term benefits, the short-term negatives effects of the scare continue to be felt.
In Berlin, thousands of people protested in Germany over the weekend to demonstrate their anger at the situation and demand a change in farming methods, reported Reuters.
“We had such softening of environment and animal standards in the past years," said Reinhild Benning of Germany's Friends of the Earth. "That's a risk for consumers - as we are seeing now with the dioxin scandal -- and something they don't want."
The Russian body Rosselkhoznadzor also said it has imposed temporary restrictions on import of pigs and porcine products to the Russian Federation from Germany.
The body has requested that German authorities supply information on exports of live animals, feed, pork and poultry meat as well as finished meat products produced in the country since 1 November, 2010 –excluding those already tested and found to be safe.
The latest development s came as reports emerged suggesting that authorities in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia had traced the dioxin-tainted fatty fats to recycled chip fat.