Belgium extends plan to destroy dioxin products
BRUSSELS - The Belgian government said on Wednesday it would extend by one year an order to use cement plant furnaces to destroy the countrys remaining thousands of tonnes of dioxin-contaminated products.
Belgium still has about 30,000 tonnes of contaminated animal feed and at least 60,000 tonnes of frozen meats on hand, almost one year after the outbreak of the dioxin-in-food crisis, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.
The crisis broke in late May last year when the carcinogenic chemical entered the food chain via animal feed made with contaminated fats. Store shelves across Belgium were stripped bear as products were recalled and countries around the world banned imports of Belgian food products.
The Agriculture Ministry last September had issued an order to use contaminated animal feed and fats as fuel in cement plant furnaces in order to destroy the products. The furnaces reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees Centrigrade, assuring total destruction of organic matter, including dioxin.
RENDAC, a Belgian firm specialising in destroying animal cadavres and animal fats and feed, has been handling destruction of the remaining 60,000 tonnes of contaminated frozen meat.
The Agriculture Ministry said it extended the order on using the cement plant furnaces because it would take RENDAC one year to handle the remaining animal feed and fats, in addition to the frozen meat.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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