Swiss eggs declared fipronil-free
No trace of the insecticide fipronil has been found in Swiss eggs, according to the Swiss government, which carried out an analysis of domestic eggs in the wake of the scare that has swept through Europe.
In a statement, the Swiss food safety office (BLV) said it had tested eggs from producers across the country and found no trace of the banned insecticide.
“Swiss eggs can therefore be eaten without fear,” it said.
At the beginning of this month millions of eggs and egg-based products were removed from supermarket shelves across Europe – including Switzerland – after some egg imports from the Netherlands were found to be contaminated with fipronil.
Fipronil is commonly used in veterinary products to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks. But it is banned from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption, such as chickens, because when eaten in large quantities it can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.
Earlier this month some poultry farms were shut down in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France after authorities confirmed that the insecticide had been used there illegally.
The European Commission said some 15 countries as well as Switzerland and Hong Kong had received fipronil-contaminated eggs as imports.
The quantities of fipronil found in the imported eggs are not enough to pose a threat to human health, said the BLV, adding that all contaminated eggs had nevertheless now been withdrawn from sale.
Regarding domestic eggs, the BLV said there was nothing to indicate that the company suspected of supplying the insecticide to Dutch poultry farms had done the same to Swiss farms.