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Compensation over Pork Contamination Paid Out

by 5m Editor
6 October 2009, at 9:43am

IRELAND - More than €100 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent by the Government on compensation to farmers and processors following last December’s pork contamination scandal.

According to IrishExaminer.com, latest estimates from the Department of Agriculture are that the Government will spend at least another €49m on claims and costs associated with the recall from overseas markets.

Meanwhile, exports to Russia and China have still not been re-opened. The Department of Agriculture investigation into the contamination is still not completed and it’s understood that a Garda investigation is still open.

Irish pork had to be recalled from supermarket shelves across the world last December when routine tests showed some pork products contained up to 200 times more dioxins than the recognised safety limit. It’s believed animal feed given to cattle and pigs had been contaminated with industrial oil. The cattle dioxin levels were all within safe parameters and so they were not subject to recall.

The bulk of Irish pig export trade has returned to normal in recent months but An Bord Bia, Irish embassy officials and Department of Agriculture officials are still involved in negotiations with Russia and China to re-open those markets.

Sales of pork, bacon and sausages at home have risen, despite the recession, with TNS retail figures for the first half of the year showing sales volume increasing by 4 per cent, 9 per cent and 5 per cent.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture confirmed €17.6m had been paid to pig herd owners and €6m to cattle owners. A further €4.7m was paid for slaughtering, rendering and transport of carcasses.

"On the pigmeat recall, we have made payments totalling €74m. A total of €30m has been paid to primary processors, €39m to secondaries, and €5m to renderers. We estimate that up to a further €49m will be spent on outstanding claims and costs associated with product recalled on overseas markets," he said.

The pig sector in Ireland is worth more than €250m a year, says IrishExaminer.com.

Further Reading

- You can fond out more information on the Irish dioxin scare by clicking here.