An official statement from the authority reads:
‘From the information that we have at this time, we do not believe there is significant risk to UK consumers as adverse health effects from eating the affected products are only likely if people are exposed to relatively high levels of this contaminant for long periods.
‘This precautionary advice had been issued following the Irish Government’s announcement that it is recalling all pork products made in the Irish Republic since September after dioxins were found in slaughtered pigs that are thought to have eaten contaminated feed.
‘The Agency is continuing to monitor the situation and is in close contact with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. If it is confirmed that any affected products have been distributed to the UK the Agency will take appropriate action to protect consumers. An urgent meeting of the UK food industry is being organised by the Agency as part of its investigation into possible distribution channels in this country.’
According to the Associated Press, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have suspended imports of Irish pork indefinitely. However, the European Union said no nation needed to ban imports, citing Ireland’s own strong actions and the low risk from short-term consumption of the toxins in question.
Germany, the second largest importer of Irish pork behind Britain, said it had received 2.4 tons of Irish pork since September 1, largely in the form of unprocessed meat, and found Irish-sourced pork in products at five supermarkets.