May 29, 2018 / 1:55 PM / in 22 days

Belgian prosecutors raid food safety agency over eggs scare

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian prosecutors said on Tuesday they had raided the premises of the country’s food safety agency over an insecticide scandal in eggs that rattled European consumers last summer.

Commonly used as a treatment for fleas and ticks in domestic pets, fipronil is banned for use in the food chain, but small doses of it were found in European chicken eggs last summer.

This led to the destruction of millions of eggs and the shutdown of poultry farms in several countries.

“The judicial investigation concerns the spreading of false information about the fipronil contamination in eggs in 2017,” prosecutors said in a statement, adding the investigation was ongoing.

A spokeswoman for the food safety agency said it was fully cooperating with investigators but could not give any further details on what the investigation was aimed at.

Last summer, German authorities blamed their Belgian counterparts for not communicating sooner about a possible fipronil contamination. Belgium’s farm minister denied the accusations at the time.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by David Evans

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