Environmental News Archive

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Germany Suspects Contamination In Flour From India

Aug 8 2007 (TODAY)

BERLIN - German authorities said yesterday they had launched a massive
hunt for food products that may have been contaminated with carcinogenics
originating from a type of flour made in India.

Several German states and companies targeted products made with Indian
guar seed flour, also known as the food additive E412, including yoghurt,
sauces, bread, ketchup and baby formula.

In flour distributed by the Swiss company Unipektin to 10 European
countries, up to 156 picogrammes of dioxin per gram of fat were
discovered - far above the 6 picogrammes allowed by the European Union,
authorities said.

The German consumer affairs ministry said, however, that it did not
believe people who had eaten contaminated products were in immediate
danger because the flour was generally only used in small quantities.

The ministry held a telephone conference with the relevant state
authorities at the end of last week to launch the search for contaminated

The agriculture ministry in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg
said that "several thousand kilogrammes" of guar seed flour had been found
and seized at three firms where it had been used in dairy products. In the
western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, several hundred kilogrammes of the
additive were discovered at two firms. - AFP