Dutch Court finds firms liable in fipronil egg-tainting scandal


Dutch Court finds firms liable in fipronil egg-tainting scandal

25 May 2020
Two disinfection firms in the Netherlands have been found liable for a 2017 food scandal that swept across Europe. Eggs were contaminated with the insecticide fipronil, which saw millions of chickens slaughtered.

A court in the Netherlands on Wednesday found two disinfection companies liable for a tainted egg scandal that caused tens of millions of euros in damages. The Arhnem court said the firms had failed to fulfil contractual agreements to poultry farmers who took them to court.

The judgment comes more than two-and-a-half years after the food scare, which caused millions of eggs to be pulled from shelves and led to more than three million chickens being slaughtered.

The companies, Chickfriend and Chickclean, supplied farmers in the Netherlands and Belgium with a disinfectant they claimed was natural. The AFP news agency reported that farmers were duped into believing that the mixture — intended to control red mites — was based on eucalyptus and menthol.

In fact, the treatment was a pesticide known as Dega-16 which contained fipronil — a broad-spectrum insecticide commonly used to rid livestock of fleas, lice and ticks. Fipronil is banned from use in the food industry in the European Union, as it can damage the human kidney, liver and thyroid gland.