Dioxins toned down

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006

In the first week of February, the European Commission (ec) adopted a new law setting maximum levels of the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls ( pcbs) in food and animal feed. Starting November 2006, any food or feed having higher levels of these chemicals than would not be marketed in the European Union (eu).

Although the eu had stipulated maximum levels for dioxins in food and animal feed in 2002, pcb content remained unregulated due to lack of sufficient data and scientific information. Several eu countries had reported dioxin contamination -- the latest being Belgium and the Netherlands.

"It is now up to national authorities to ensure that monitoring is properly carried out," says Markos Kyprianou, eu 's commissioner for health and consumer protection.

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