Dáil Éireann - Volume 507 - 01 July, 1999
Written Answers. - Food Safety.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
43. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will make a statement on the presence of dioxins in food used in Ireland; and the measures, if any, being taken at farm, importer, processing and distribution levels to ensure no dioxins are present in food consumed within the State. [16305/99]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): There has never been any known problem with dioxin levels in agricultural products produced in Ireland. In this regard the Environmental Protection Agency undertook a survey into dioxin levels in June 1995 by way of having milk samples from representative regional dairies analysed. This indicated that dioxin levels in milk were uniformly low by international standards.
In addition, the pesticides control laboratory of my Department has monitored samples of beef and pork for PCB residues since 1982 and such residues have never been detected in any of the samples analysed. Given that there is a significant correlation between the contents of dioxins and PCB in animal foodstuffs and products and as there have not been any imports of contaminated feed from Belgium, there is no reason to believe that Irish food is contaminated with dioxins. However, further PCB testing on pork and other products is continuing and a programme of monitoring for dioxins on an on-going basis is being developed and will be implemented in the period ahead.
Dáil Éireann 507 Written Answers. Food Safety.