Turkey's food body says tainted eggs mired in politics


Turkey's Federation of Food and Drink Industry Association said on Friday that the tainted egg crisis is a political debate.

"We must act very carefully. There is no trace of [poisonous] residue in eggs produced in Turkey. The tainted egg crisis stems from political issues," said Şemsi Kopuz, head of the association.

In a statement, Kopuz said that some countries were using the issue to worsen relations between Germany and Turkey.

He added that the EU Commission had accused Turkey of exporting tainted eggs.

The commission had earlier reported that 24 out of 28 EU countries had eggs with traces of fipronil, a chemical found in pesticides used to control fleas in animals.

According to the World Health Organization, fipronil is "moderately toxic" if eaten in large quantities and may have dangerous effects on the kidneys.

In accordance with a 2005 EU directive, Turkey banned the use of the chemical on animals destined for human consumption.

The origin of the contamination was detected in poultry in the Netherlands and has led to the closure of 200 farms in the country.

Since July 20, millions of eggs have been destroyed or taken off supermarket shelves across Europe.

According to the International Trade Center, Turkey is the third largest egg exporter in the world with nearly $290 million export value and 8.6 percent global share.

The Netherlands -- the world's number one egg exporter with $545 million export value -- has a 16.2 percent export share in the world, followed by the U.S. with $440 million export value and 13.1 percent global share.

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