Another recent food scandal is in the headlines this Summer with the revelation that eggs from Belgium had been contaminated with the toxic insecticide Fipronil. Fipronil, an insecticide used to protect both livestock and crops from lice, ticks, mites and fleas was found to be present at trace levels in eggs laid by Belgian hens. As food scandals go, Fipronil in eggs isn’t quite as sensational as horse meat replacing beef in supermarket lasagnes or the many elaborate/macabre food scandals that come out of China but it is certainly a serious breach of food safety standards which appeared to be known about by European Union Officials. The EU has some of the strictest guidelines on the registration and introduction of pesticides in the world with lengthy and expensive product chemistry and metabolism tests required in order to obtain a licence to sell a pesticide within the economic territory. Fountainbridge provides custom synthesis of impurity standards and metabolites to reliable companies who use these in their product registration.
Despite having these regulations in place, there are still frequent threats to the food safety in the EU caused by pesticides. Threats such as Firponil in eggs don’t come from the perceived toxicity of the products supplied by companies and individuals acting in compliance with EU rules but from the illegal importation of pesticides into the EU, importation of food from outside of the EU and the unscrupulous actions of end users as has been seen with this latest scandal.