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Statement by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food today stated that it is investigating, in close collaboration with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland the source of a contaminant in animal feed. This follows on from the discovery of the presence of marker PCBs in pork fat during routine monitoring of the food chain for a range of contaminants.

As a precautionary measure, a small number of farms associated with the investigation have been placed under restriction by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Animals from these farms will only be allowed to enter the food chain if they are shown to be free of the contaminant following laboratory testing.

A series of tests are being carried out in the Department's own laboratory complex in Backweston and additional samples have been sent to the UK for testing. The Investigation is continuing and further information will be available as soon as laboratory results, which are due at the beginning of next week, are available.

Note for Editors

PCBs: Polychlorinated Biphenyls are persistent organic pollutants that are principally present in food as a result of industrial processes.

Date Released: 04 December 2008